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iVlARCH. 1367 

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R. W. PHIPPS, Toronto. 



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To the Honourable S. C. Wood, 

Treaeurer of Ontario^ 

Sir, — ^Agreeably to the instructions of the Ontario Government, I have prepared a 
report on the important subject of the forests of the Province. The object of the Govem- 
ment) as I have understood and endeavoured to carry it out, has been to circulate the 
information procurable in so popular a form as to ensure its being generally read, and 
thereby to enlist the understanding and sympathies of all in the valuable work contem- 
plated — that of preserving such portions of forest as are necessary for our future supplies 
of timber, and for that still more important result, which the m^iintenance of forests 
secures the great climatic and agricultural benefit derived from regular supplies of mois- 
ture, whether in river, spring, or rainfall. 

The subject has long been one of my favourite studies, my first writing thereon in 
the Cancuia Farmer and other journals dating thirteen years ago, while I have had myself 
much personal experience, which I have found useful in preparing the report, a work 
which, I may remark, has occupied me several months. 

I have concerning the matter actually presented, followed the plan generally observed 
in other countries in drawing up such documents, namely, that the first Report should 
present the scientific aspect of the case as applicable to the country in question, together 
with statements of what steps have been taken by other governments in such matters, the 
results which have attended their efforts, as well as the causes which led to their action; 
accompanied by such additions to the stock of facts as personal knowledge enabled me to 
supply, and compilations, in as concise a form as possible, of such evidence touching the 
subject as is on record from the pens of gentlemen well acquainted with Canadian 
affairs, and such quotations as bear most directly from the most celebrated writers in 
America and Europe, concerning the advisability of action in the care of and reproduction 
of forests, and their explanation of the great principles on which such advice is based. 
Such reports have generally been preparatory to a more exact personal examination of 
the country, and the obtaining of evidence from individuals in its different localities, 
which, the writer would suggest, should now be undertaken. 

It may be added, that of the various scientific explanations adduced, none has been 
given except on the highest authority, nor without consulting numerous authorities, of 
some of which I now append a list. Of those authorities to which I am chiefly indebted, 
I may mention the various reports presented from time to time to the American 
Government, the valuable report compiled by the Oommissioners of the Ontario Govern- 
ment concerning the Forestry Congresses at Montreal and Cincinnati ; the Montreal press 
reports of the former; the numerous excellent writings of Prof. Hough, U.S. Forestry 
Department ; some very useful and exhaustive reports concerning the examinations made 
by the East Indian Government in the system of European Forestry (for which I have to 
th%nk Hon. M. Joly and Prof. Gold win Smith) ; Le Traitement dea BpifL^jM'pCh. 

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'Broillard ; Lea Bois, par Dupont et La Grye ; Les Arbres, par Schacht ; Brown on 
iPorests and Moisture; and Reboisement in France, by John Orombie Brown, LL.D., 
-Edinburgh; The Forester, by James Brown, LL.D., Stirling; Bagneris on Sylviculture; 
"The Earth as modified by Human Action, by Zeo. P. Marsh ; The Trees of America, by 
D. J. Browne, New York ; the far-famed meteorological works of Herschel, Flammarion, 
Glaisher, Humboldt, and others ; the reports of the various conservators of forests in 
Australia, New Zealand, and India ; Lasett's Timber and Timber Trees ; Chapman's 
Geology of Canada ; Vallis' Influence of Forests, etc, etc. 

It may be remarked that this report, with the same or even lees labour, might easily 
have been made much more bulky. But I have rather chosen to reject as much as pos- 
sible, so as to leave, in the present form, an amount of information more likely to secure 
perusal than if further extended. 

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As a preface, perhaps I cannot do better than aak the reader to peruse, I need not 
ask him to admire, the following beautiful piece, from << Nature, or the Poetry of 
Earth and Sea," by Madame Michelet : — 

" Alas, in how many places is the forest, which once lent us its shade, nothing more 
than a memoiy. The grave and noble circle, which so befittingly adorned the mountain, 
is every day contracting. Where you came in the hope of seeking life, you iind but the 
image of death. 

'* Oh, who will really undertake the defence of the trees, and rescue them from a 
general and senseless destruction 1 Who will eloquently set forth their manifold mission, 
and their active said incessant assistance in the regulation of the laws which rule our 
globe 1 Without them, it seems delivered over to the blind destiny which will involve it 
again in chaos! The motive powers and purificators of the atmosphere through the 
respiration of their foliage ; avaricioulS collectors, to the advantage of future ages, of the 
solar heat, it is they, too, which arrest the progress of the sea-born clouds, and compel 
them to refresh the earth ; it is they which pacify the storm, and avert its most disastrous 
consequences. In the low-lying plains, which had no outlet for their waters, the trees, 
long before the advent of man, drained the soil by their roots, forcing the stagnant waters 
to descend, and* construct at a lower depth their useful reservoirs. And now, on the 
abrupt declivities they consolidate the crumbling soil, check and break in the torrent, 
control the melting of the snows, and preserve to the meadows the fertile humidity which 
in due time will overspread them with a sea of flowers. 

** And is not this enough 1 To watch over the life of the plant and its general har- 
mony, is it not to watch over the safety of humanity 1 The tree, again, was created for 
the nurture of man, to assist him in his industries and hia arts. But on this immense 
subject I cannot dwell. Only, it is our very emancipation. It is owing to the tree, to 
its soul earth-buried for so many centuries, and now restored to light, that we have se- 
cured the wings of the sttom engine. 

" Thank Heaven for the trees ! In this book, and with my feeble voice, I claim for 
them the gratitude of man. Let other writers of greater authority come to their assist- 
ance, and restore them to the earth, before she is utterly stripped, before she becomes an 
arid and uninhabitable desert 

** One day, as seated before a forest of flrs already marked for the axe, I was lost in 
a sad and silent dream. Another dreamer, who could well interpret my thoughts, told 
me that he came from the Engadine, the most elevated and the coldest region of Switzer- 
land, where the fir ceases to grow, where the larch can barely live, but where the arolla 
prospers, and hardily plants its roots, on the edges of the glacier. It is a hero ! I ex- 
claimed ; we are in Switzerland, and should we not see it 1 ' * Tou must make all possible 
haste,' replied the stranger. * In the war which man has declared against the Tree, th e 

last of the arollas will soon have disappeared.' " i ^ ^ ^^ i r> 

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The Past and Present Forest of Ontario. — The Writer's Experience. — ^Danger of Fire to 

Remaining Forest 1 

The Mechanism of a Tree 16 

How Moisture is Retained in Forests 18 

The Qreat Natural System which Qives Rain in Due Season 20 

Dew 26 

Marshal Yaillant's Experiments 30 

Connection of Forests with Production of Rain 31 

Herschel on Radiation 32 

Dr. Bryoe on Forests and Rainfall 35 

The Lessons of History and some Contemporary Evidence 38 

Statements Collated from the Works of Distinguished Writers on the Subject 40 

Forests and their Management in other Countries 71 

Experiments in Planting in the States and Canada, and Directions Founded thereon 98 

Report of the Hon. H. J. Joly 113 

The Heights of Land in Ontario 122 

The Great Forest to our North-east 124 

Protection from Fire 126 

The North- West Territory of Ontario 127 

The Position in which Forests would Best Affect the Ontario Climate 128 

Trees by the Roadside 129 

A Word on the Present Amount of Forest in Ontario 129 

The Possible Profits 131 

Ravages of Fire 184 

The Pine Lumber Remaining 135 

Forest Existing in Ontario Counties 136 

Map of Heights of Land in Ontario— opposite page 122. 
Map of Forests— opposite page 136. 

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When the paddles of the Frenchmen first broke the clear waters of Toronto Bay, and 
their canoes grated on the bright beach of sand which then sorroanded that harboar, 
Ontario, from the Detroit to tho Ottawa, was under the roof of the forest. It contained 
at that time, as has been well remarked by one of the best qualified judges in the United 
States, perhaps the most valuable masses of timber which ever existed in a region of ita 
size. There were hundreds of thousands — nay, there were millions of acres of magnificent 
maples, two feet — three — four feet through, their rugged trunks rising clear, separate,, 
distinct, to the lofty arches of the forest^ like the pillars of some great cathedral, over- 
shadowing and crushing out by their ponderous vitality all inferior growths, so that below 
a carriage might have been driven for many miles in any direction, unimpeded through 
the park-like woodland. There were vast sections of beech timber, their clear blue-grey 
stems standing far away in the indefinite perspective of the forest, and here and there 
reflecting from their shining surfaces the occasional rays by which the sun was able to 
penetrate the mass of foliage overhead — ^great trees — three, or even four, fourteen feet 
logs to the trunk, a reservoir of plane- wood which would have lasted all the carpenters of 
the world for a century. There was white-oak, would have ribbed the navies of Europe, 
and ash sufficient to plank them all to the water-line. There are many perfect worka 
in the forest, there is none more perfect than the white asL Its shaft, round and 
perpendicular, sheathed in serrated bark of clear cut channels unique in their beauty, 
forms a picture the very axe might be loth to destroy. There were hickory trees by mil- 
lions, the shaggy outer-covering hanging in strips from the huge red-brown trunks, had 
kept the world in axe«handles till doomsday. There were miles upon miles — there were 
hundreds of miles of wide-spreading cedar flats, where the traveller's foot might all day 
long press the mossy covering of their protruding and gigantic roots, while around him 
still arose on all Hides the upright shafts, the curious leaning branches of that most pic- 
turesque of trees. There were dark and apparently illimitable forests of hemlock, of 
which axe and fire have long since found the limit, as the tanners are learning to their 

cost. There were millions of silver-skinned birches, and iron-woods in countless Jdumbers. 

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And above all others in use — above all others in money value, everywhere piercing the 
hard-wood foliage roof, rising to double its height above it ; lofty, dense, sombre, fully 
exposed to, but almost immovable by, the tempest, stood in far-spreading masses the 
giants of the forest — the great Canadian pine. 

It is not to be supposed that the forest of that day stood in clearly defined sections 
of different woods. Trees of other species from the predominant always intermixed, but 
in many sections to so slight an extent that those who saw that vast woodland can well 
remember where, every here and there, all appeared maple, all beech, or all hemlock, far 
as eye could discern. ^^ What kind of land is it ? " asks Cooper's Major of the Indian. 
" All sugar-bush ; what you want better? " is the reply. 

If the lord of these servants should at any time return from a far country, and 
demand to know the use the Canadians had made of his talent of timber, we should be 
' puzzled to extricate it from the napkin of fire in which we had wrapped it. For the 
advance of the Anglo-Saxon across the North American region has been, so far as the 
trees are concerned, like that of Attila, who boasted that no grass ever grew where his 
charger's feet had trodden. No destruction was ever more ruthless, more injurious, more 
lasting in its effects, or more difficult of repair, than that to which Canadians, for the 
past hundred years, have cheered one another on. Among all the politicians who have 
in turn saved our country, few of them have thought it worth while to attempt to save 
the timber. And yet much might very easily, very valuably, have been done towards 
that end. But the Genius of Preservation was absent, while that of Destruction filled the 
land with his voice. Here might have been seen a rustic, placidly destroying a grove of 
white pine, worth a million of dollars, in order to uncover a barren waste of sandy land, 
which at first gave but little wheat, and has since pastured but a few cows ; there another, 
devoting to the flames a district of red oak, would have kept Malaga five years in wine 
puncheons, that he may bare a piece of hard red clay on a mountain slope, which he shall 
try to cultivate for a few years, and shall abandon when the winter torrents have washed 
the scanty humus away from the hard pan which all impenetrable lies below. Here is 
yet another who, to advance himself a little by burning in June a fallow which should 
have lain till fall, and thereby save a matter of ten of twenty dollars, has let fire run 
through ^ve hundred acres of good hemlock bush, killing the young trees, girdling the 
old, and half ruining the soil for future agricultural purposes. Here you might have 
seen one rolling together and burning great logs of black walnut (a wood invaluable for 
furniture, of which the Canadian supply is long since exhausted, and the United States 
supply almost so), in order to make a farm, all the profit of which for forty years would 
not reach one-tenth of the sum the walnut, if left standing till now, would easily have 
drawn. Nay, an item which will be more comprehensible by every one, I have myself 
seen, on the sandy lands near Toronto, great heaps of almost clear pine, worth to-day 
forty dollars a thousand, given over to the flames. 

All old residents of Toronto can well remember the days before the railways — the old 
wharves piled high with pine for steamboat fuel— the long procession of wood- waggons, 
two cord on each — down Yonge street, and from the Kingston and Dundas roads. I 
fancy the pine so used would now sell for a good deal more than all the steamers and all 
the freight they ever carried. 

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<* We must have the land/' said the settlers, " we don't want anj boards, and thnre's 
no sale for it in town/' A hundred miles north of Toronto, and within fourteen of a rail- 
road, I hare known heap after heap, acre after acre, square mile after square mile, till the 
forest was gone, where the splendid and massive rock elms, three to even six feet through 
at the butt, the long clear basswood, good for many a use, the straight logs of valuable 
cherry timber, and equally valuable red oak, with beech and maple, hemlock and iron- 
wood, uncounted and uncountable, arose in smoke, a sacrifice to the Goddess of Ignorance 
throughout the length and breath of the land. 

But one will say, *^ The land has to be cleared." Yee, and no. It was necessary 
indeed to obtain land for the plough, but what I shall endeavour to shew in these pages, 
is that, had great reserves of the inferior lands, and of the mountain lands, been spared 
the axe, in proper and intermediate positions, good and constant succession of trees, and 
large supply of timber might have been obtained therefrom, while the land which was 
cleared would not only have yielded larger crops than the present much broader acreage 
affords, but would have yielded them at a much smaller cost of anxiety and labour. This 
point once demonstrated, we shall probably obtain some valuable ideas as to the road to 
be travelled in utilizing the forests which yet remain to us. 

In the settlement of woodlands, such as Ontario was once entirely, it would be well 
that those entrusted with the duty of choosing the sections to be occupied by new comers, 
should reserve large portions of inferior land for forest purposes. The settler here, in 
many cases, cleared, much to his own injury, hill, swamp, sand and hard pan which might 
well have been left untouched, while there was, at no great distance, plenty of excellent 
land. That poor land, left in forest, would have, by its climatic influence, rendered much 
more easy, and consequently, much more lucrative, the production of crops on the other, 
and would also, if fairly used, have continued an inexhaustible reserve of timber, of fire- 
wood, and of fence. 

Allow me to give an instance of my own experience in this matter, illustrative of 
the way in which heights of land, which should above all have been kept in forest, have 
been carelessly deforested in Ontario. On one of my expeditions many years back, 
undertaken in company with some other young men for the purpose of choosing farms 
among the vast forests then existing in the Province, after travelling a good many miles, 
we came to a district where there was evidently much good land, none of which, however, 
seemed at that time to be in the market. It was a broad and a splendid forest, dense 
with vast elm and heavy oak. There on all sides rose the mighty maple, rich in promise 
of sap and overflowing trough, intermixed with many a lofty basswood not unsugt^estive 
of futures even sweeter, for amid the blossoms thick among its massing foliage, high over- 
head in buzzing millions the wild bees toiled and sang. Here and there, perhaps miles 
apart, a settler had cleared a limited rectangular space, his small log bam and smaller 
house half hidden by the waving luxuriance of his little patch of Indian com, his field of 
wheat, his bit of meadow, where, tall, interweaving with each other, and covered with 
dull red flowers the clover and timothy, vigorous from the untired soil, climbed high 
against and even overtopped the four-foot fences. All here was deep and loamy day. 
Travelling through continual and overhanging forest, we were not aware of the elevation, 

but in fact the country through which we were passing was the gradually arisinjg^ slope of 

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a mountain range. We passed on farther, the land did not now appear so rich. It 
was still strong and fertile clay, but not at all the equal of that we had left The oaks 
were smaller, the maples harder of trunk, and dying at the top, dark masses of hemlock 
frowned perpetual from the glade, and every here and there the spectre-like balsam, high, 
gaunt and spire-crowned, pointed his warning branches to the hard, red soil below. 
However, persuaded by settlers, who at any risk wished to bring other settlers around 
them, we bought land, cleared it and built on it Other settlers came and did likewise. 
Then a while afterwards, when our road and clearings had introduced daylight for many 
a mile, we understood what we had done — we had occupied the height of land. The rich 
slope we had passed on one side was equalled, had we gone that far, by a slope of equal 
richness on the other side of the .mountain. But we had halted, and many had halted, 
on the watershed, the summit of the mountains, a great table-land of many thousand 
acres, rich in its uncleared state with springs of water (on my hundred acres I had six or 
eight which promised to be never-failing), but of far inferior land to that which lay below. 
There was the great mistake. The authorities of that day knew nothing of it, the settlers 
knew nothing of it ; and those great slopes, extending many a league, are now cleared of 
trees from highest ridge to far-distant valley on hither and farther slope, or showing 
every prospect of becoming so. The inevitable consequences will as surely follow. Tho 
land, even before I left that part of the country, was washing rapidly from the top. I 
have seen it gather eighteen inches deep against the fence on the lower side of a field. 
As for floods, since the leafy guardians of the height have been dislodged, I have seen a 
creek which would have flowed in full volume between one's joined hands, with two hours' 
rain roll down a red torrent which bore a ten pound stone some distance on its surface 
before it sank. The old forest, left above, would have held the rain in bed, leaf, and 
tangled brushwood for days, and sent it forth in gentle and gradual streams to the slope 
below. The summit land should never have been sold for settlement. With proper care 
in thinning and reproduction of trees, fenced against cattle and managed by foresters, that 
wide extent of tree-crowded height might have stood for ever a valuable forest, furnish- 
ing yearly lucrative supplies of saleable timber, and a far greater benefit, giving a 
continual fertility — by attracting rain, by preserving its former steady and numerous 
water-courses (seven-eighths of which are now dried up), and by preventing the now per- 
petual washing away of the soil — to all the far greater extent of far more easily cultivable 
land below. Let any one who knows the district I speak of think how scarce barn 
timber and even firewood now is there, and consider how valuable a large reserve on the 
height would have been to the whole country. This opportunity exists no more. The 
land is in private hands or it is cleared. But we have many mountain ranges still unsold 
which might be better managed. 

Perhaps I may be permitted to refer again to my remembrances, and to remark that, a 
life-long resident of Ontario, and in my day largely engaged in clearing the forest^ 
besides having had continual occasioa to observe the work done in the same line by 
many of my relatives, who, coming to this country in the earlier part of the century, 
were mostly farmers, and what was long synonymous, choppers, I necessarily know some- 
thing of the process and results of clearing. Their axes rung in many an Ontario forest — 
in the dense bush near Chatham, among the heavy beech of the old Trafalgar survey, on 

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the pines of the Yonge street line, away north in the Gwyllimburies, farther yet to the 
right and left of the Georgian Bay, in the woods where now stands Whitby town, and in 
many another forest glade, now forest glade no more. I have seen vast districts around 
me, where from elevated points we could once overlook many thousand square miles of 
forest and of lake, changed in a few years from leafy shades to sunny fields. In all my 
experience, though I have known many farmers who, believing that *' ther*ll alius be 
wood," cleared off every stick, and have now for many years bought wood, and in some 
oases coal ; and though I knew some (myself included) who made spasmodic and ignorant 
attempts to preserve some forest, yet I never knew one who seemed at all likely to secure 
to his successors enough timber on their own land. No doubt there are such ; but I have 
not been aware of them. 

This arose from many causes. Some cared little so their turn was served, and I have 
seen a farmer point to his ten or twenty acres of wood yet uncleared, with the remark, 
** Well, I guess that'll last my time. I didn't own no bush to begin with, nor no land 
neither, and my sons'll be better off than I was, for they'll have the land anyhow. Be- 
sides, there'll always be lots of wood in this here wooden country." Then, the pressure 
of poverty was sometimes severe, and men sometimes driven almost to starvation point, 
had little scruple in destroying a hundred dollars' worth of timber to procure five dollars' 
worth of wheat, when they knew they could get the five dollars, could not get the hun- 
dred then, and were by no means sure that they ever would. Again, ignorance was 
very general. Few of us knew that, in destroying the forests, we were, in effect, pledging 
ourselves to pay a heavy rent for our farms. There is nothing now better known to the 
world of science, than the fact that any deforested country will cost the cultivator at least 
four or five dollars more per acre, to obtain the same crops which nature would have 
assisted him to procure, had a proper interspersion of forest reserves remained to continue 
the natural moisture and preserve the original fertility of the soil. And I may remark 
that it was impossible that this should be then known, as it is knoyrn in the present day. 
The knowledge, or rather the proof of the knowledge, had not been arrived at. It is only 
of late years that even the older nations of Europe have attempted carefully to investigate 
the matter. For instance, when, in 1870, I took occasion to write in the *' Canada 
Farmer," and other journalistic literature of the day pretty extensively concerning this 
matter, I found no such stores of knowledge, or of reference, as at present exist 

Even in that short interval of twelve years great progress has been made. 
Fresh experiments have been carried out, and new and valuable information 
obtained, in American, European and Asiatic countries. The American Government, 
warned by the rapid decrease of their forests, and consequent and evident injury to the 
productive power of their soil, have for some years past had in operation a Forestry 
Bureau, which, under the efficient management of Dr. Hough, is doing excellent service, 
and has now issued its third volume of reports. France and Switzerland, convinced by 
recent experience of the injurious results of deforesting their mountain districts, are 
replanting at great expense the most elevated plateaux. In the case of the former country, 
vast additional outlay has been incurred, and with the most gratifying success, in 
establishing along the sea coast great plantations of valuable timber, a benefit to the 
climate, a sooroe of profit to the proprietors, and a complete remedy for, and prevention 

against the wind-carried waves of sea sand, which previously every adverse gale scattered 
in masses far inland, to the utter destruction of the arable soil. In both these countriep, 
within the same period, as well as in Germany, in the far distant region of Australia^ and, 
indeed, in most civilized lands, schools of forestry have been improved or have been 
established, provision made for the drawing thence annually a body of trained foresters 
for the service of the State, and governmental machinery created, whereby their services 
will be at once and continually available for the preservation of existing and the planting 
of fresh sections of woodland. 

But of all this, while the chief mass of Ontario timber was destroyed, little was 
known to the world, and less to the destroyers. If, here and there some one had more 
skill in natural philosophy than his brethren of the log heap, he also had skill to see that 
he alone could not impress the masses in such a matter, and that his efforts would do but 
little to preserve the naturally assisting relation between forest leaf and ear of grain. 
Some few I heard of as having enclosed, thinned and protected from fire and cattle their 
modicum of woodland ; but so few and far between were these that I never knew person- 
ally one. I knew thousands who did not. Those few who had means and will lacked 
experience and teachers. 

I remember, when little over twenty years of age, I made my first experiment in 
clearing a hundred acres. I left ten acres of solid, lofty timber in a strip along the north 
side as a shelter against the coldest wind. It was for ultimate, not for immediate service, 
for behind it stretched, broad and untouched, the forest of many miles in deptL The 
strip, when its border stood fully exposed by my clearing operations, formed a pretty 
picture. Thick with dense young trees below, and great hemlocks, red oaks of mighty 
size, waving beech and heavy maple nodding their leafy heads, above, it stood (for my 
fires had not touched it), from ground to summit twigs, a wall of living green ; which^ 
when the cool daybreak air of June, purified beyond the imagination of city dwellers by 
many a charcoal heap,. had covered the great leaf masses, the branches, the angular rail 
fence below, and every forest weed around, with myriads of bright and glancing drops of 
dew, shone, flashed and waved along its whole emerald length, and down a thousand 
opening and closing vistas, like the wall of Fairy-land itself. ** These other country 
fellows," thought I, "chop down everything, but I shall preserve this beautiful growth, 
at least, whatever happens." 

Well, time passed on. Next year was a dry summer, and an English gentleman 
who knew considerably less than the little we knew, cleared at one fell swoop 
a hundred acres behind mine, and burnt the soil of half his farm beyond redemption 
in the process. I was many miles away, and what shall hinder his Urea from, 
by way of a gentle commencement, running all around the border, and some 
forty feet into my pretty reserve. Down went my young maples by the thou- 
sand; my little hemlocks, their roots burnt from under them, stood in blackened 
and spectre-like rows. The beauty of the strip was gone. Next year, a poor 
settler lived near with some cattle he could not feed, so turned them loose. They did not 
leave a young tree nor a green branch they could reach in my ten acres. The result of 
these combined attacks was that the moisture seemed to leave the strip. The vegetable 
coating of massing roots and rotting leaves was swept away, a§^|^|||^|3^^^efi(D^^^^which 

lire and cattle could not destroy, seemed to drj, perish and iall of pure desiocation. In 
five years the green bit of fresh forest w^as a desolation of dry and rattling stalks, fit for 
nothing but the axe, and scarcely for that But (and here was our lack of knowledge) had 
fire and cattle been excluded, the green bush had, with care, been green to-day. 

Throughout Ontario clearing has been largely similar. It has been pursued without 
plan or system, utterly oblivious of the great and vital principle that, in this country, as 
in all others, there were certain portions which should be left as forest, because the 
ground would be valuable for that purpose, and scarcely for any other; and certain por- 
tions which should also be so left, as elevated above the rest, they form the natural 
conductors to attract rain, store-houses to preserve it, and slopes down which, in driest 
weather, the refreshing streams still carry the reserved moisture from the wooded hill top, 
to the arid and parching soil at a distance, but below. Then, as for reserves on each 
farm of timber and fire- wood ; let us consider how these have been provided for : — 

On each one, two, or three hundred acre lot as it happened, the original proprietor 
left generally " some bush,'' here, there, or anywhere in that part where it would least 
interfere with the cultivation of his cleared land. 

Well, fire would run in some of these reserved portions and it would blow down, 
fill with weeds, become an eyesore and be cleared off and ''cropped.'' 

Or, the farm would be divided and sold ; the bush lot buyer would have too much 
bush, and would clear most of it, so that now the two or three hundred acres would have 
but ten or twenty acres of forest. 

Or, the whole would be cleared ; the cultivators saying to one another, '' Oh, there's 
lots of bush down on the sandy flats that never will be cleared (and here comes in the* 
saving clause) in our time ; we cam always get wood hauled to our own doors in winter 
at one or one and a half dollars a cord. Let us clear off all the plaguy trees and crop 
the land ! " 

Or, a demand for cordwood for railroad or other purposes would spring up, and the 
farmer would be induced to sell his bush to the choppers. Notice how this would affect 
the one who had cleared. He had said, " 3o-and-so has hundreds of acres of wood ; 
he can always sell to me." Others say so of others ; but the demand carries off the very 
woods they had been depending on. Then they must cut down the small groves they 
had been intending to keep " no matter what happens ;" or they go to others and say, 
'' Well, wood's very scarce round here ; I don't want a twenty miles' hauling job ; tell you 
what, if you'll let me have some out of your ten acre block, I'll give you a dollar and a 
half a cord and cut for myself. There ! " The offer seems large to one who has been 
used to pay for having the wood destroyed, and he takes it Others offer more, and 
the ten acre lot goes, and is in grass. 

Then the masses of woods, bounding his vision on every side, here a solid wall 
bordering his farm, there a strip along the horizon, were at first apt to deceive the settler 
into a belief of the continuance of the forest. I mentioned one a few lines back as saying, 
''There will always be wood on the sandy flats." I will give here a little bit of experience 
showing how such expectations have been dissipated. 

Along the low shores of a great lake stretched a forest, wherein stood cedar trees, 
good enough and many enough for Solomon's Temple, if he liad been contented with 

white instead of red, intermixed with many a solid acre of the largest and tallest beech, 
maple and basswood I have ever seen. We used to look from our more elevated region 
upon this great carpet of tree-tops covering the valley with intermingling foliage, and 
many of us thought we need keep no timber, we could always buy it or own it there. 
Well, I was a boy, and must needs go raspberry picking one dry summer day, when we 
liad had no rain for six weeks, and we must, of course boil our tea-kettle, or rather big 
tin can, and apparently the fire went out j and I am afraid in fact, we cared very little 
whether it did or not, for it was either long before the days, or far beyond the scope of 
the three months fire regulations, though they now are in full force in that district. Well, 
we went home, and about a week after, a column of dense black smoke could have been 
observed to the northward, and somebody said, " There's a big fire along the shore." There 
was indeed. The column of smoke broadened and blackened, and extended for weeks, nor 
did it subside until the heavy September rain, nor was utterly quenched before the win- 
ter snow. The devastation was melancholy to behold. The forest had fallen before it like 
grass before the scythe. Our tea-kettle had cost thousands of acre& Cedar and beech, 
oak and maple, were no more, and in their place, many summers after, a vast white carpet of 
close standing Canada thistles used to overspread the land. No more reserve of timber 
for us along the lake. But some will say, " At all events, the loss of the forest gave 
room for crops." Unfortunately, it could not. Nature had planted and cultivated there 
the only crop such soil could grow. 

The trees, by protection and careful use, could have been continued a source of 
income for infinity ; but its burning took the top soil of a few inches of black earth from 
off a carpet of pebble stones and boulders. The best of the soil was gone, and nothing 
less than three centuries of rest, or the income of a Rothschild could restore it. 

The settler, too, can never fully realize the vast power of the settlers who are coming. 
He sees indeed, the sixty or a hundred acres on which he has abolished the forest ; but 
still he sees everywhere the embowering shade ; he drives to the village through avenues 
of trees; he visits the next farmer across five miles of dense wood; nearly every hundred 
acres he sees is a hundred acres of timber, but he does not so well understand, at first, 
that for each there is an owner, and that each piece of good and many of poor land will 
as surely, in a 'few years, find some one prepared to clear it, as that each separate snow- 
fiake in a January field will before June meet a sunbeam to disperse it into air. 

If we look from end to end throughout the settled portion of Ontario, we shall find 
what the foregoing observations have led us to expect There are as yet, on many farms, 
portions of forest remaining, generally of small extent. But, as a rule, little care is 
taken to exclude cattle or to continue in its efficacy the timber plantation as a perpetual 
source whence many sturdy trees can every year bo taken without injury to the continu- 
ance of the grove. On the contrary, all over our older districts, as any one who has 
travelled them as I have for the last forty years is well aware, the patches of reserved 
timber are every year becoming smaller and smaller, nor is there any replantation 
observable, at all calculated to fill their place. 

It must be thoroughly understood that unless powerful efforts be made in the direc- 
tion of replanting, the cultivated portions of Ontario will become almost denuded of trees. 
The whole force of circumstances and nature point inflexibly in that direction. Pp^ons 

of the forest left standing will not, without care, continue many years in a state produc- 
tive of timber or beneficial to the climate. 

These trees have grown, root and trunk, in the shade. The outside rows, exposed to 
the sun, wither gradually, decay, and are easily uprooted by the force of the wind, injur- 
ing the inner and younger trees in their fall. Then, if cattle are allowed entrance they 
will kill every young tree, a process which, as far as my observation extends, dries up the 
soil in small blocks of forest, and precipitates windfalls of large trees in all directions. 
In fine, the forest in most sections of Ontario, if left to itself in isolated patches, rapidly 
deteriorates. When we add to this the continual pressure in all directions, inducing 
owners to sell their wood and clear their lands, we must admit that if no active move- 
ment be made for their preservation, the forests which once overspread Ontario will soon 
give place to a bare and denuded surface, broken only by the low branches of an occa- 
sional orchard or the few trees which some one, here and there, has set in line along his 
fences or around his house. 

That there is cause for much apprehension in the matter is a faot which can be well 
proven by contemporary experience, and it would be impossible to find a betjter method of 
obtaining such than by examining what has happened in those portions of Canada settled 
previously to our own. Let us look to old Lower Canada, the present Province of 
Quebec Let us first consider the character of its inhabitants. The Lower Canadians 
are industrious, thrifty and home-loving. Their climate is a severe one. So far as the 
habits of their ancestors may be thought to influence, it may be remarked that no other 
nation were so careful in the preservation of their forests as, when they settled Quebec, 
were the French. There is, then, every reason to suppose that Quebec has been as well 
treated in that respect as Ontario is likely to be. May I, then, ask the attention of my 
readers to the condition of the older settled portions of Quebec, a state of affairs which 
any one travelling in that Province can verify, and which no one aware of the character 
of the witness whose testimony I am about to quote, will for a moment doubt I allude 
to the Hon. H. 0. Joly, of Quebec, from whose valuable report on *' Forestry in Canada" 
I shall elsewhere quote further. With reference to the matter at present before us he 

" As far back as the year 1696 the attention of the French Qovemors of Canada was 
drawn to the wasteful dostniction of the forests, and they were called upon to check it. 
Nothing, however, was done by them, ahd little has been done since. The result stares 
us reproachfully in the face, especially in the Province of Quebec, the oldest in the 
Dominion. The old settlements are painfully bare of trees ; you can sometimes go miles 
without seeing any trees worth looking at, and the passing stranger fancies himself in a 
country more denuded of trees than the oldest parts of Europe. There is a large district 
of very good agricultural land south of Montreal, where the scarcity of firewood, which is 
a matter of life and death in our climate, has compelled many a farmer to sacrifice a fine 
farm and leave the country. There are many other spots in the Province nearly as bad, 
and Ainfortunately the process of destruction is going on even now in more places than 

There is no reason to suppose that the residents in our Province of Ontario will be, 
if left to their individual guidance, more careful of their wooden reserves than have been 
our French Canadian friends. If on the one hand the Lower Canadian habit of parti- 
tioning their farm lands among the members of a family was likely to create a demand 

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for more fuel and more timber from each hundred acres than is our own, it is to be 
remembered that in their rigorous climate thej had greater cause to fear a scarcity, and 
had every necessity to practise the art of replanting and of husbanding their woodlands. 
Nor had they at the time most of their clearing was performed an excuse for carelessness 
in reservation of timber, which has to a great extent prevailed in Ontario, namely, — ^the 
certainty of being able, by means of the number of railways, which in every direction 
chequer the surface of the latter Province, to purchase coal at reasonable rates. The 
Province of Quebec had been sixty years in the hands of the British before coal was even 
to any extent used in New York city. On the other hand, to my own knowledge, many 
an Ontario farmer has cut down his last tree, sold off the timber from his last five or ten 
acres of bush, with the consoling reflection, " Well, if the wood does run out, I can get 
coal, and folks say it's hotter and cheaper." Taking all this into consideration, no reason- 
able observer can doubt that the settled portion of Ontario is on the high road to becoming 
as destitute of woodland as Mr. Joly's pamphlet pictures any part of Quebec. 

And here I will ask my readers to consider a point which might, perhaps, better 
come later, as. more connected with what will then be introduced, but which may be now 
mentioned as concerning the Province just spoken of. We will remark, before we lose 
sight of this very important feature, the injurious effect this over-clearing has had on the 
Province of Quebec. 

It is well known to every person of ordinary information that in times past quanti- 
ties of wheat were raised in and sold by the Province of Quebec. Certain valleys drained 
by great rivers there, covering vast areas of land, were thought to be the very home of 
the wheat plant Before 1830, the yield of wheat in Lower Canada is said to have been 
enormous ; between then and 1865 it sank to an insignificant fraction ; since then better 
farming has to a certain degree restoi*ed it, though to nothing approaching its old fer- 
tility. It has been usual to call the process which caused the injury ''over-cropping.'' 
No one doubts that with good farming and favourable seasons the land might, as much 
land has, have stood the cropping without deterioration. But if it could be proved that, 
on the contrary, the process of clearing the forests tended to carry away the fertile portion 
of the soil, and had done more, had even prevented the possibility of seasons continuing as 
favourable as formerly, would it not do much to account for the falling off? What if we 
can discover by undoubted testimony that this is so 1 We shall, I think, in the course of 
this book find proof of these two important points. 

First. — ^That gentle, frequent and refreshing showers, where a country is to a proper 
extent retained in forest, are likely constantly to occur throughout the summer months, 
giving their well-known and powerful stimulus to all the growths of the field. 

Second. — ^That when such proportions of forests are not retained the showers are not 
equally distributed ; they do not descend at the especial time, nor in the manner bene- 
ficial to the plant, and being precipitated in floods, the result is : — 

That they do not frequently, and therefore not nearly so advantageoiusly give 
moisture to the earth. That, coming in floods, they bear away, in discoloured overflow, 
much of the richest earth of the fields. That extended areas of pasture, meadow and 
plough land thus rendered comparatively infertile, cannot yield the means of keeping 

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much cattle or obtaining much manure, and the land thus again, from this secondary 
cause, yet further deteriorates. 

If we take into consideration what has occurred as previously stated, concerning the 
destruction of forests in the Province of Quebec and its results, and remember that the 
same state of affairs exists in many of the older settled States of the adjoining Union, 
and remember also how little isolated and individual action can do in the way of remedy, 
there is no avoiding the conclusion that, in our own Province of Ontario, unless the 
strong hand of GU>vemmental assistance is brought into operation, even the small reserves 
of woodland which here and there dot the surface of our present cultivated territory will 
disappear, and their absence will produce the same results as have in other countries 
invariably been found to follow similar losses. In the eastern portion of the United 
States the same deterioration of soil is observable, and has proceeded step by step with 
their disforesting. Many once fertile farms there are now abandoned through sterility ; 
while, as if to point out more clearly cause and effect, as will be shown by quotations 
further on, the operations of replanting which have been in progress for thirty or forty 
years in certain districts there, have not only produced new forests but improved growth 
in the adjacent cultivated lands. This is especially the case in Massachusetts. 

Speaking of Massachusetts tree planting, we may remark that that whole eastern 
coast, following the French success, is conquering the sand drift with the pine tree. 
Numerous instances are given where these artificial plantations are now yielding 
merchantable timber, and some where the original woodlands, preserved for that 
purpose and properly managed, had yielded larger returns than money devoted to the 
purchase of lots afterwards forming part of the most flourishing cities, and of course pay- 
ing well. It should be noticed here that Nature, always benevolent, has offered a 
remarkable inducement here. The very lands most useless to the agriculturist — the light 
and almost barren sands — are those on which, according to French, German and Ameri- 
can experience, we may hope for most success in planting the most desirable, the most 
rapidly disappearing of all our timber, the great Canadian pine. Sombre, indeed, as that 
dark tree passed by uiEneas on the downward way. 

" UlmuB opaca, ingens, quam sedem Somnia vulgo. 
Vana tenere ferunt, foliisque sub omnibiu hsrent ;" 

or, we may translate freely, — 

Vast elm, impervioos to daylight's beams, 

Where live the Visions and where haunt the Dreams. 

But no tree of all the forest will serve Ontario so well as these tall, gloomy guardians 
of the soil, valuable for the timber they yield, doubly valuable for the climatic influence 
their giant height and dense foliage exert, forming a link as they do in the transmission 
of moisture between the heavens above, the earth beneath, and the waters under the 

Already a great number of the smaller streams which formerly flowed continuously 
throughout the length and breadth of Ontario are dried up, or only run during the floods 
produced by spring thaws or autumn rains. With the utter disappearance of our forest 

reserves, those which yet remain will more and more entirely disappear. , ^^^i ^ 

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Formerly the interspersing belts and large masses of yet untouched forests held, in a 
manner afterwards to be explained, during the summer period of vegetation, great 
reservoirs of moisture, which causing a continual flow of water-courses throughout and 
under our fields, watered and fertilized the land, and was in itself, as we shall hereafter 
see, at once the cause and the result of the frequent spring and summer showers which so 
greatly aided the labours of the husbandmen. 

It is noticeable, I may remark at this point, that in many parts of Ontario where 
formerly portions of newly cleared forest ground could be reasonably expected to yield a 
large crop per acre, adjoining land as well wooded and of precisely the same constituents, 
so far as soil is concerned, will not now when cleared and cropped give anything like 
the same amount. It is also observed that ploughed land some years under cultivation, 
in similar localities, compared with ploughed land of many years back, although now 
worked with the advantage of improved implements, far greater care in the rotation of 
crops, and the application of a quantity of manure quite unobtainable in the old days, 
frequently fails to yield an equal return to that formerly secured with rougher cultivation 
and infinitely less labour. 

The old settler remembers the once spontaneous growth, and is apt to say with 
Hood in the " Haunted House " : — 

** A merry place it was, in days of yore ; 
But BomethiDR aik it now ; the place is carat.*' 

The land is haunted by the spectre of its former fertility ; the fertility which in our 
greed we slew. We were not satisfied with the golden egg of the field, we muat, to get 
all at once, kill the goose — the woodland which nurtured the field;' and we have neither 
fair forest nor fat meadow. We said with the fabled rebellious members, " What is the 
good of feeding this useless stomach ? The limbs are the valuable parts.'' *' What," said 
we, '* is the value of this woodland? The field it is which gives the crop." But as the 
stomach got thin the limbs got thinner ; as the forest grew small the field returns grew 
smaller. We had destroyed the regularity of the summer rain, that for which Yirgil bids 
his husbandmen pray : — 

" Hamids Boktitia atqna hiemee orate serenas, 

or, if you accept my translation of the first part : — 

*' That moist and warm jkrrive the spring. 
That frequent showers the summer bring ; 
Still, farmers, ask when vespen ring 
Ask in your matin prayer." 

As I have just remarked in the case of Lower Canada, we have been too apt to 
believe that over-cropping alone has occasioned the evil. It has no doubt had something 
to do with the matter, but there is too much reason to believe that an equally powerful 
factor is to be found in the far less favourable distribution of moisture which our careless 
disforesting operations have brought about j and if this be the case even at present, what 
have we to look forward to as our present scanty interspersing reserves disappear, except 
a still more unfavourable climatic condition and one becoming worse much more rapidly 

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than in the commencing years of its progress, as the stone rolling down hill at first 
slowly, flies faster and faster as it continues to move. Much of our valuable soil has 
already been washed away f rOm the uplands ; many pastures formerly moist and green 
the summer through, now dry and bare, furnish but scanty picking in most years to one 
or two cows and a few sheep, and a very large proportion of' our arable land, plough it 
and manure it as we will (as just observed) smiles not with the promise of former days, 
when, as the proverb says, " If you with a hoe, it laughed into a harvest." 

The prospect is that if no governmental actions be taken (and I am now speaking of 
our counties which have been long settled) as soon as the disforesting process is as com- 
plete as it threatens to be, much of our higher plateaux, together with the long and some- 
times steep slopes which, facing towards their nearest river beds, form so large a portion 
of our best land, will lose fertility in the course of a few years to a marked extent. For 
the rain will fall, the snow will descend, and will lie ; but where disforesting is general, 
instead of being deposited — ^the first in refreshing and growth-producing showers, the latter, 
by its slow melting in the woods feeding our thousand springs and rivulets, passing in all 
directions under and through the cultivated fields, and yielding to them that moisture 
which is to plants what the blood is to the human frame — will come the rain in heavy 
torrents, which, instead of soaking into and manuring the cultivated land, will rush 
violently across it, melting the snow in violent floods during thaws, and both carrying 
away millions of cubic yards in solution of the cultivated earth that, had forests been left 
in proper extent, would have remained, and not only would have remained, but would 
have been enriched by the slow and beneficial passage across and through it, of those very 
waters which now remove it from our fields. Nor do the lower grounds escape,. for none 
are so low as the bed of the rivers which drain them, though the fall may be less steep 

The reckless disforesting, so strongly condemned by many American writers, which 
has been practised by their countrymen, is now bearing its fruits in the terrible spring 
and autumn floods which of late years have affected large portions of the United States. 
The Americans might spare much of their care for the channels of the Mississippi if they 
would restore the groves cut from the hills which fed its sources. To disforest a 
mountain slope is to devote the height to barrenness, the valley to flood; and both to parch- 
ing drought when drought is most injurious, when 

" ExnstuB Ager morientlbuB sstuat herbis." 

Added to this absolute abstraction and loss of soil — ^and to a much greater extent 
richness of soil — the loss by cropping, so to speak, in spite of nature, of taking from the 
soil without allowing the recuperating influence which Providence has placed in position 
to assist the farmers to perform their work, there is but too much reason to believe that 
we shall in Ontario, unless care be taken, find ourselves in the position in which too 
many countries now find themselves — compelled in order to grow crops and feed cattle, to 
give double the labour, and yet not receive the return we might for half the work, had 
we allowed the assistant forces of nature to remain in sway, and not destroyed the wood- 
lands through whose agency they benefited the region wherein we dwell. To those who 
have not considered the matter, these statements may seem overstrained. If my readers 

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follow me I will endeavour to show them how well they are based on facts, and how deep 
our need in Ontario of action before the evil increases to a much greater extent, and 
while the means of prevention are within our reach. 

I have spoken of the cultivated region of Ontario, which has been formed from our 
best lands— -our deep clajr loam, and rich limestone country. But close to us is a far 
greater danger in our inferior lands. 

The province of Ontario is not a broad limestone bed. When we go north a couple 
of hundred miles, say as far as Muskoka, or a line running from it south-east to near 
Kingston, we came to a region of far less fertility, because based on a rock far less favour- 
able to decomposition into fertile soil — here all is based on granite. There is no lime- 
stone, there is no lime. You will find yourself as you go through Huntsville, Brace- 
bridge, Magnetawan, and all the great Nipissing region, considering how cold the country, 
rather startled to see that very few of the houses are plastered inside, but all wains- 
coted with thin pine. You will find many large hotels without an atom more lime about 
them than just built their chimneys; and that drawn a great distance at much cost 
There is no lime, it is a granite land. Be respectful, for you stand near the very frame- 
work of the world, the great Lauren tian rock. For my part, I had as soon my earthly 
station were somewhere else. The land is not that of the old Home District. The rich 
clay of this other is not here ; it cannot be ; there was no lime to make it, 

" Ere yet the little rills began 
To feed thy bones with lime, and ran 
Their course till thou wert also man." 

There is clay ; but it is whitish, soapy, sandy : and there is a vast preponderance of 
soft, peaty, powdery soil. There is much good humus in this, if it could be preserved 
until a thick clover bed overlies it (and it will grow excellent clover), but it is, above any 
land I have seen, that in which, when dried and thinned by partial settlement, I should 
fear the ravages of fire& I have passed over many of what are called balsam flats, 
which cover a vast part of that land, and though I heard some were richer, yet it was 
always my luck to be able to dig the tomahawk in the earth a foot deeper than its fifteen 
inch handle, and find nothing but grey powdery soil resting on powdery soil, and that on 
red sand or poor white clay. There is much birch timber, but largely dying at the top — 
the sign of weak soil. There are, left by the lumbermen, many poor or young pines ; 
there are good beech and maple, but not the beech and maple of the old Ontario woods. 
There is, where the lumberman has not wrought, much fair pine; but this taken away, it 
will not be a heavily timbered forest, and it is one which will dry, especially as soon as 
the settler cuts gaps in it here and there, and thousands of cattle are let loose to do more 
damage than hide and horn, beef and tallow will ever pay for or begin to pay for. I sa}' 
what a life's hard won experience has taught me, — ^that they will dry the land, that fire 
will run there, and that it is the very soil, and that it is the very timber where fire will 
do much damage. On the high ridge lands it will bum to the bone. Let anyone go a 
few miles north of Rosseau (many of our tourists yearly do so) and look at the forests 
they will see there, or what were forests where the fire has passed, and the bare white 
rock is visible as far as eye can see, with the ghosts of trees standing, gaunt, black, 
and charred, in long and hideous rows. Yet this was forest protective of springs and 

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moistare, creatiye of rivers and streams. It might have been kept in forest, but replant- 
ing is scarce possible in many places there. 

" All the king's horsM and all the king's men 
Gouldnt pat Humpty together agahL" 

Howerer, in the softer soils, fire will not reach the rock, but it will surely run fast 
and far, and burn deeply and most injuriously into the life of the land (the vegetable 
humus on which in such a soil, the only hope of the agriculturist lies). And yet here is 
the region, the very region which, above all, we should endeavour to keep wooded, green, 
and flourishing. 

Here we are near the height of land, the great water-shed which crosses the east of 
Ontario, on this side of which our streams flow into the lakes, while on the other they 
run into the Ottawa River. This height of land stretches from north-west to north-east, 
from near Nipissing till it strikes the St. Lawrence near Kingston. If you look at the 
surveyor's details of townships surveyed, you will find all this to be described much as 
land is pictured in the Nipissing and Muskoka districts. It is at present emphatically a 
land of moisture and of streams. There are numerous and beautiful lakes, there are 
rivers and water-powers right and left which would delight the heart of a manufacturer; 
there is the water, the very water he wants to aid the production of woollen and cotton 
goods — the water free of lime. The housewife may there boil her tearkettle for years, no 
rock will form inside. 

The great slope leading to this watershed, and stretching to and past the Ottawa, 
bordering the north-east of the settled portion of Ontario, is, so far as fire has yet spared 
them, clothed with woods. Partly the lumberman has here and there taken out timbef, 
partly they are untouched by his axe-blade. While in forest they are for all Ontario 
east of Toronto our reservoir of moisture, our mother of waters, our feeder of streams, the 
streams which flow from this water-shed across our Provinca But civilization is reaching 
them in its most destructive mood, and all along the southern border of this mass of 
forest the sturdy agriculturist frets its edge with fire and steel. He pierces it with roads, 
he clears his isolated farms deep within its solitude, the forest falls before his axe, it dries 
and shrivels beneath the hoofs of his cattle ; and still, as clearing operations penetrate 
farther and farther from its outward trees, this great forest becomes drier and yet more 
dry. It ia not a rich and deep-rooted forest such as existed in former days near 

" wad Ontario's houndlees lake." 

It is a forest, the outer edge of which, dried by clearing operations, may be relied 
upon to bum in dry summers, and not unlikely to bum terribly and devastatingly, and 
for many miles. My readers may remember the fires three years ago, in the Muskoka 
district, where it may be said, we had just commenced to attack the comer of the great 
wood clothed watershed slope of which I speak. If they had travelled, as I happened to, 
forty miles by stage through that district then, the clouds of smoke obscuring all around 
us, the glare of the fires visible right and left in many directions along the darkened 
horizon, the snapping and crackling of the giant trunks continually sounding in our ears, 
and occasionally passing near some great roadside tree, clothed in a mass of fire, threaten- 
ing to preoipitate itself in destruction on coach, horses and passengero below, they would 

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have some slight, though even then, but an outside and superficial idea of what a forest 
fire means. 

If fire should obtain any serious headway there, Ontario with ^neas may well say, 
" Jam proximuB ardet 


It is frequently said, *^ Ontario has plenty of forests ; there is yet fifty per cent, 
remaining ; let us attend to more important affairs." Most of the fifty per cent, remain- 
ing might, so far as it is likely to benefit the older portions of Ontario, as well be 
in Greenland. Much of it is in Algoma — much more far in the Parry Sound or the 
North- West territory, where it will have little climatic influence here. Or, it is said, 
** Some day ; there is yet no need." Now, in August is wheat harvest ; what would we 
think of one who said, " Oh, we don't need wheat till August ; we shall look after it 
then, and sow some ! " But all agree that we shall some time need to grow forest in 
Ontario. If so, now is late enough to plant, for ]}efore we reap t?uU crop, with some 
trees twenty, some forty, some seventy years must pass. And it is agreed that some 
time we shall regret more forest was not preserved. If so, it is none too early to see 
about it, for in a few years all worth preserving will be far beyond the reach of such an 
effort Are we to sit down to make our musket when the enemy is charging up the 
slope f 

In a word, the great forest to the. north and north-east of Ontario, our principal 
forest reserve, as the one which feeds the sources of most of our streams east of Toronto, 
is likely under present conditions to disappear much more rapidly than did the more 
heavy and more deciduous woods in our older land. Thus, it appears to me, as one who 
has had considerable experience in clearing land, and much opportunity to observe the 
effects, and who has since given much study to the question of loss by over disforesting, 
and possibility of replantation, that the whole of Ontario is in great danger of heavy loss, 
unless action be in time taken by some authoritative and powerful hand. There is 
yet time to take this action, and the following pages are intended to present in order : — 

1. The scientific aspect of the case. 

2. Corroborative evidence from other lands. 

3. Measures being taken elsewhere in pursuance of the same object. 

4. Some suggestions as to the action necessary. 

The Mbchakism of a Tbbe. 

A tree (and I will beg my readers to follow this attempt at explanation closely — all 
depends on it) receives its nourishment from the roots. These correspond to the mouth 
in the human frame. Now, as in the human frame the nourishment received is, after 
being supplied to the blood, exposed to the operation of air in the lungs before it is fit to 
give fresh material to the body, so in a tree, the nourishment taken in at these tree- 
mouths, the roots, passes to the lungs of the tree, and there, by contact with the air, is 
rendered fit to supply fresh material to the tree. These tree lungs are the leaves. 

This operation is effected by the passage upward, from the soil around the roots, 
through the trunk, the branches, and every twig of the tree, to the leaves, of a large 

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4][uantit7 of water, containing in solution the nutriment for the tree. Arrived at the 
ieaves, a process takes place which separates, by means of contact with the air, most 6i 
the water the roots had taken in, from the valuable nutriment, and throws off, in vapour, 
the surplus water into the air. At this same time certain constituent portions of the air 
are utilized and mingled with the nourishment retained. This all, now a small por- 
tion in comparison with what had arisen from the roots, yet retaining enough water to 
serve as its vehicle back, is returned towards the roots, depositing in its way, in leaf, bark 
and root, what is needed there for the growth of the tree. In these they undergo, 
especially in the bark, further fitting and digesting processes, before they assimilate with 
the substance of the tree. The water which was retained to carry them down, being now 
needed no longer, passes out at the roots. 

If the reader choose to peruse the three following paragraphs, he will find from tbe 
pen of the learned Mr. Brown, a more scientific and exact description of this procesa : — 

'' The water thus absorbed by the several cells composing the spongioles of the root 
is by a similar process absorbed from them by cells behind them ; and by continuous 
repetition of it by those beyond the moisture absorbed from the soil is passed on and on, 
from the extremities of the rootlet to the extremities of the smallest twigs, and to the 
furthest and the loftiest extremities of the branches of the trunk. There, through the 
leaves, a part, and that a large portion of it, is given off into the atmosphere, while a 
|>art, comparatively a small portion, is returned by the same duplex process of exosmose 
And endosmose by the same cells, and others, their progeny, towards the root. By the 
way is deposited, by exosmose, nutriment for the tree, the leaf, the flower and the fruit ; 
■and the residuum is in part deposited by the same process in the leaves, the bark, 
^r the root, and passed off into the soil by the exosmosic action of the cells composing the 
spongioles of the root" 

'' In the back of the leaf are numerous stomates, or mouths. The structure of these 
•differs in different plants, but what may be considered the typical structure is two elon- 
gated cells, resembling a microscopic black pudding or thick sausage, so built into the 
structure of the skin of the leaf, that this will not admit of their being further elongated ; 
•each of these is, along one side, attached .to that skin, but on the sides along which they 
are in contact they are free. When moisture is in excess, they become distended, but 
the structure of the skin of the leaves is such that they cannot be elongated, and they 
bulge away from each other, leaving a wide opening between them through which the 
vapour with which the air surrounding the cells in the interior of the leaf is charged, 
finds an open exit* When the pressure is relieved, they, having lost some of the moisture 
-or water with which they were filled and distended, collapse to such an extent as to dimin- 
ish the opening ; and in this way, exactly to the degree required, they vary and regulate 
that aperture — ^varying it, it may be, I shall not say twenty times in the day, but, if 
necessary, twenty times in the minute ; and if drought become such as to render it desira- 
ble that every drop of moisture in the plant should be preserved, under the influence of 
that drought they become flaccid and completely close the aperture.'' 

^' Of the extent of the provision made for this evaporation some idea may be formed 
from a consideration of the number of the stomata or stomates to be found in the leaves 
of plants, often symmetrically disposed. The number varies in differ^ t^f|^^;^^or 


whicK variation a reason may be found in the different conditions of growth to which 
they are subjected in their sereral natural habitats. In the back of the leaf of the apple 
tree, there are about twenty-four thousand stomates to the square inch. In the leaf of the 
lilac there are a humdred and sixty thousand of them to the square inch. Sixty thousand 
have been reckoned in a square inch of the under surface of the white lily and three thousand 
iu a square inch of the upper surface. In the leaves of the cherry-laurel there are none 
on the upper surface of the leaf, but ninety thousand have been counted on the lower 
surface of the leaf. In the true lilies they are so large that they may be seen with the 
aid of a simple lens of an inch focus. In the water lilies and other plants having leaves 
which float upon water, all the stomates are on the upper surface, where alone evapora- 
tion can take place. Leaves of plants which grow entirely under water, where there can 
be no evaporation, have none." 

The quantity of water drawn up from the soil by the roots is very great It is not 
well known how much passes back to the roots, or how much passes through the leaves 
into the air, but all experiments show that very much more passes ofl through the leaves 
into the air, than runs back through the roots into the ground again, as is shewn above. 
The provision made for evaporation when necessary, and for absorption when necessary, 
in leaves is immense. In the leaf of the lilac for instance, as elsewhere noticed, there are 
one hundred and sixty thousand openings for the purpose to the square inch. By these, 
when the tree needs it, it throws off ; by them, when it needs, it obtains moisture from 
the air again. It may be well here to say that, as regards the amount of water absorbed, 
in case of need, by leaves, science has not as yet been able to give us such clear proof as 
it has furnished concerning the amount given out by them. The last is certainly immense. 
The former exists ; but is as yet unmeasured. In some trees the upward rush of mois- 
ture from the roots is very powerful. The workmen in shipyards frequently And in the 
centre of a teak log a core of sand fifty or sixty feet long, an inch in diameter, and 
hardened to a marble-like consistency, which has been carried and deposited there by the 
sap in its upward course. One main conclusion, we will, for our purpose at present, 
notice — ^that the volume of moisture passing into the air from the leaves of trees must be 
extremely large. 

How Moisture is Retained in Forests. 

The whole forest, in its natural state, forms a reservoir admirably fitted to receive 
large supplies of moisture, to hold it for a lengthened time, and to part with it at inter- 
vals well calculated to benefit the vegetation of the surrounding country. The bed of the 
forest is a widely spread surface, piled thick with leaves, twigs, pieces of fallen branches 
and remnants of decayed logs, covering another layer of the same substances, in a state 
of partial decomposition, overlying yet another strata completely decomposed, altogether 
forming a deep porous hollow framework, penetrated with a myriad of pipes, tubes, and 
aqueducts, and interpersed with millions of miniature cisterns. Then, every hollow on 
the surface is obstructed by fallen and rotting logs, blocking and holding in position 
the flow of water until the humus* below fully absorb it, while the whole surface of the 
earth ia crossed, recrossed and crossed again by a chequer-work of partially elevated 
roots, the box-like openings between which perform the same function. If we go below 

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the surface we shall find the solid earth beneath the mass of vegetable decomposition 
pierced eyery where with upright and porous pillars of wonderful tubular structure — the 
large and perpendicular tap-roota which many trees possess, passing deep into solid 
clajey strata otherwise impermeable, and sending through the triturated earth which 
surrounds them, a slow and steady supply of water to a thousand subterranean and spring- 
feeding channels, which, travelling away from the forest and under the cultivated fields, 
supply the great lowe^ bed of moisture, that continually rising, fertilizes the upper 
soil, and finally passes off to find in brooklet, lake or river, their course to ocean again. 
On this great natural bed and reservoir, rain may fall in torrents, only to be held there 
in suspension till it gradually, and in such degrees as are best fitted to promote the bene- 
fioient work of nature, flows away in curving creek, in rippling rivulet, nourishing and 
feeding the thirsty earth as it goes. On this same great bed, vast mountains of winter 
snow may pile themselves, protected by the overhanging branches and dense thickets of 
underbush, against too rapid thaws in Spring, thoroughly moistening and soaking the 
whole great mass of humus and roots, and furnishing a vast field for evaporation ready to 
part with its watery treasures to the surrounding atmosphere, at the fervent bidding of 
the warm sunbeams of April or of May, the period when vegetation needs them most — 
the period for which nature has stored them and at which she delivers them, and the 
period, if you notice, at which she takes care no dense foliage obstructs the action of the 
sun. Then, reversing the process, when in times of drought, the forest bed has parted 
with its surface treasure of moisture, the deeper roots can and do draw, from the subter- 
raneous and concealed channels, a vast supply for the trees themselves, which again 
passes through the leaves into the air, and falls in rain or dew. 

Let us view the forest under a different aspect from that which is open and 
apparent to the natural eye. Let us consider that great portion of its actual being, life 
and functions which are carried on by means of water. This forest, with all its ponder- 
ous trunks standing around us, solid, firm, impermeable, has been in its day, from root to 
leaf, but water, gases and vapour, and is still but a channel for their passage, the 
passage by which its existence is continued, its growth fostered, its death in due time 
obtained and its reproduction secured. The forest is a river ; deep around its interlacing 
roots the joining waters fill everywhere the land, they separate, they mount in every 
trunk continually in upward flowing streams, they separate again in their course to every 
branch and every leaf, they again separate in their passage to the outward air through 
the thousand openings in these ; they join the air, they form a dense and vapour-saturated 
atmosphere above the forest top, above the whole far-spreading and wind-tossed sea of 
glittering leaves, and they rise perpetually a body of innumerable tons of invisible water, 
cool and damp from the forest depths, to meet the coming south-west wind bearing its 
liquid treasures fresh from the warm equatorial region, treasures of moisture rich as 
that of the forest exhalation, far more extensive but far more heated than their's. They 
meet, and the junction of the differently heated masses necessarily precipitates both in 
rain ; it falls to the ground ; it may pass by innumerable channels to the distant ocean, 
it may rise to the nearer atmosphere through wheat, through grass, through forest leaf 
again. Every forest is an immense fountain of water rising perpetually from earth to 
sky, falling ever from sky to earth again. 

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Moisture Supplied to the Air by Forests. 

The forest land being always shaded, by the dense masses of foliage above, from the 
summer sun, is then much cooler than the surrounding earth of the open country, a 
coolness increased by the damp atmosphere within and surrounding it, produced by the 
exhalations of the leaves, by the droppings of the great accumulations of dew, which col- 
lect on its great extensions of leaf surface in the course of the night, and by the evapora- 
tion from the ground itself, which, as before observed, is almost a perpetual bed of 
moisture. The amount transpired by the leaves, as shewn in the preceding paragraph, is 
enormous. The forest then is continually sending out and sending upwards, dense 
accumulations of vapour. It necessarily sends them upwards, the vapour of water being 
the lightest and most inclined to rise of all vapoura Therefore, there will be above the 
forest a large stratum, or it may be a column of air holding in solution as much vapour 
of water as it can bear, without forming cloud, and ready, when the proper natural cause 
occurs, to form a cloud, and thereafter in due time to be precipitated in rain. What may 
occasion this we will speak of further on. 

Moisture Increased bt Prevention of Winds. 

Another cause which adds to the moisture in the field surrounding a forest is the 
great influence it exerts in modifying the force of the wind. When the stratum of air 
immediately above the fields has, in drying the fields, taken up a portion of its moisture, 
that moisture will pass off slowly to the stratum of air above, and that in turn to the 
next above ; but if the stratum of air next to the ground be rapidly moved across the 
ground by the wind, it is no longer simple evaporation into one stratum, that portion of 
stratum moves off immediately with the wind, and is immediately succeeded by another 
portion of the same stratum, and that by another and another as rapidly as they can pass 
over the ground, each in turn, taking what mpisture it can rapidly imbibe. Therefore, 
41 portion of country protected by an adjoining forest from rapid winds, may remain, 
iilthough exposed to sunshine, for weeks, in good moist and growing condition, while a 
rapid diying wind passing over it for even one day, might have taken from the ground 
much more moisture than it could spare, and have very injuriously affected the crop. To 
prevent this is one great use of even very thin lines of trees. 

The great Natural System which gives Rain in due Season. 

Providence gives man the means, if he choose to avail himself of them, of procuring 
all through the growing season, frequent growth assisting showers. The means are given 
him of continuing and preserving to himself thousands of rivulets, " the upper springs 
and the nether springs," so that few good sized farms need be without a creek or spring 
in some comer or another, where you may always be sure of water for your cattle, without 
having to spend hours a day pumping it from a well, and not getting then a constant sup- 
ply, or one nearly as healthy as the stream ; without having, when wells dry, to drive 
your cattle across your neighbour's fields, meeting his black looks, because he is sure it is 
you who leaves his bars down, and moreover he don't calculate he'll have more water than 

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he wants, aad " doesn't believe he contracted to supply the country," without, worse stilly 
having to tramp after your beasts three or four miles along the dusty roads to a creek. 
Or, if you have plenty of water, and your neighbours none, it is hard to say whether you 
are much better ofL If you supply them you are a thoroughfare without a toll-gate. If 
you refuse, you are a tyrant, and are informed over your fences that "there will be water 
when you're dead and maybe you'll want it yourself before you die." 

More, the water which supplies moisture for the crops comes largely from below. It 
is not because the rain fell on the herb of the field that growth chiefly proceeds, though 
that does good ; but it is because the earth received the water, and the great underground 
system of natural pipes and channeb has obtained its due supply. If, during the shower, 
some malevolent giant should hold his umbrella completely over your farm, his spiteful 
intentions would be, in large measure, frustrated, for the whole network of channels, 
which everywhere tunnel the soil — ^millions invisibly small — ^millions conveying vast quan- 
tities — would have all over the land received their share, and your land would receive 
from below some compensation for what the overgrown gentleman had kept off above. It 
is this underground store, which, in a dry time, sends moisture up to the roots, and 
thence to leaf and twig. The dry board lying on the ground will split and crack in the 
sun — the pitch will boil out of the seams of the upturned boat — ^the rock will glow till it 
will nearly bum your finger ; but the plant will not — it is cool, green and moist long 
after all around is parching. It has had no rain ; it may not flourish, but it does not die. 
It has other means of obtaining moisture, and one of thism is by drawing through its roots 
from below, water, which, it may be, fell in rain two months before, has been preserved on 
forest floor or subterranean cavity till now, has now in its turn passed on its course to 
the sea, and in its way preserves from death the growing herbage till the rain from above 
give it of life a new and a firmer hold. 

If my readers will travel with me a little way on a very dusty road of dry techni- 
calities, we will endeavour to find a clear explanation of what brings rain, and what 
causes the winds which bear the clouds along. Let us here remark that when we see a 
doud apparently come with the winds, we need not be sure it came at all. That cloud 
may have been above us in propria persona, but we could not see it. The air may have 
had much water in it which we could not see ; the wind may have brought sufficient cold 
to condense the moisture, when we could see it at once. The cloibd in that case did not 
come. The means of changing it into visible form came. 

A writer says in relation to a certain storm in India : — " Previous to such a down- 
pour of rain the heavens were perfectly clear, without a cloud to be seen ; yet there, it 
may be, the whole of that moisture was suspended, dissolved in the air. The rain cloud 
may have appeared to proceed from beyond the horizon, and to come thence, advancing 
with resistless force, borne forward by the gust of wind, more like a tornado than aught 
else ; but there are reasons, and these satisfactory ones, to warrant the conclusion that 
the cloud had not been blown thither by the blast, but had been formed at the various 
points of its advance by the wind suddenly cooling down the air below a temperature at 
which it could hold the moisture in solution, very much as is the case with the sand and 
dust filling the air immediately before the falling of the rain ; whatever proportion of 
these may have been brought from a distance more or less remote, most of it may have 
been seen raised from the ground on the spot as the mighty rushing wind passed on in its 
course, and the little lapse of time between the appearance of this precursor and the pre- 
cipitation of the rain jy'~^)nly such as was occupied in the aggregation of the rain 

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particles into the larger drops which fell, and the precipitation of these by gravitation 
and by the blast, aided, it may be, by the co-operation of electric force, the process being 
essentially the same whether the blast have come on as an onward moving cold wave or 
have advanced as an advancing whirlwind which raised the air through which it passed 
to an elevation at which, it may be in consequence of sudden expansion, the temperature 
was too low to retain all the moisture in solution. 

*' With the copious evaporation going on from the leaves of a forest, there is nothing 
surprising in any change of wind producing a cloud or mist above a forest, where 
formerly the air had been perfectly transparent, and everything known in regard to such 
phenomena makes it probable that in general, if not invariably, the cloud is produced 
there, and not attracted thither by the forest." 

Let us go on with the explanation, premising, that it is founded on the one given 
by Herschel, and published in the " British ^.i^ncyclopsedia ;'' that it has been adopted 
'by Flammarion, one of the leading French meteorologists, who published an exhaustive 
work containing it in 1879 j and that this work is edited by Mr. Glaisher, one of the 
leading British authorities of to-day. 

It is as follows : — At the equator, where, as we all know, it is always very warm, 
the broad heated ocean sends up, as is the nature of water when heated, vast quantities of 
itself in the form of vapour. At the same time the air there is always being heated, and 
rises as the vapour does, with great force, bnt not with nearly so much as the vapour. 
'Vapour of water is the lightest of all known vapours, and except hydrogen and ammonia, 
the lightest even of gases. How much lighter than air it is you can see for yourself, if 
you notice how fast it climbs through the air from the pot to the ceiling. True, the air 
has not quite its chance ; it, too, would climb fast if it were hot. But heat it £ls you will 
it could not climb like that. Now, the quantity of water sent into the air in the tropics 
by evaporation is immense. It is calculated that throughout the whole great equatorial 
region there rises thus annually a body of water sixteen feet deep. That is over half an 
inch a day. That does not sound large, but it will sound larger when you think how 
it grows. Turned into vapour, even at only fifty degrees temperature, it takes a 
space many thousand times larger than before, or some thousand feet high over the 
whole region. Add to this that the air it has been forced into when thrown upwards 
from the ocean is itself expanding largely, and therefore becoming lighter and rising also, 
you will see that there is an immense body of air and vapour being sent upwards very 
rapidly and constantly over the whole great equatorial region. Now this uprising leaves 
no large vacuum of its own size, as a body of that dimension would if sent upward in 
some circumstances. There is no vacuum left whatever, for the water is below and con- 
tinually affords fresh vapour. But north and south there is abundance of air ; air, too, 
which has not been heated as has that of our central body which is going up ; and as the 
central body over that vast space — remember we are speaking of a belt round the world 
thousands of miles wide — as it gets heated, rarefies and rises, the great cooler and more 
solid bodies of air north and south rush in, themselves become dilated in the scorching 
heat, and rise upwards in their turn along with the immense volume of vapour, which 
being still more inclined to rise than they are, hurries them aloft ; so that at the equator, 
or rather in the great equatorial regions, are two great masses of air rushing from the 
temperate regions, north and south, towards the equator, meeting, rising, and going 
upwards together with the vapour arising from the sea. 

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We will here pause to take into our calculations another item. These winds (these 
two north and south coming masses of meeting air, form the tradewinds, as they are 
called. These winds, though starting to go from north and south towards the equator, 
do not get there as north and south winds ; for the earth keeps turning round from west 
to east, so that on the north the tradewind is a north-east wind, and on the south its 
meeting tradewind is a south-east wind. These came, we remember, from the temperate 
«ones, leaving of course a space there which is instantly occupied by another mass of air 
rushing in from the polar regions north and south. 

Now we will follow our meeting tradewinds upwards from the equator. Forced 
upwards above the surrounding strata of air, beyond the levels of equilibrium, they flow 
over to north and south towards their respective polar regions. These are the anti-trade- 
winds, and they are acted upon by the earth's rotating movement as are the tradewinds 
before mentioned, so that these returning currents blow from the south-west in our 
northern hemisphere, and from the north-west in the southern hemisphere, always, how- 
ever, towards the poles and from the equator. Near the poles, they approach the point 
whence the polar air started to move towards the equator, to fill up, the gap occasioned 
by the rising equatorial air (or rather, there is no gap, but to prevent the gap which 
would have been had they not pressed in). Well, at this point near the poles they, as fast 
^as the polar air starts towards the equator, press into its place, follow it, go to the 
equatorial regions in the tradewinds, rise up there and come back again to the poles in 
the anti-tradewinds, and the current is complete. 

Now, at first the anti-tradewinds coming back towards the poles keep high in the 
air, so that they and the tradewinds below, going towards the equator, are quite separate ; 
but once past the tropical circle they come down near the earth and blow towards the poles 
on the same level as the tradewinds coming from the poles. They are therefore upon the 
same level, and kept asunder only by the rotating action of the earth. There are, to 
quote flammarion, " points at which these two currents come together, and their differ- 
ent qualities cause numerous and sometimes disastrous atmospheric disturbancea Their 
beds get shifted over the surface of the globe, and the succession of one after another in 
the same place produces sudden variations in the state of the sky." To avoid confusion 
they are, from the point at which they flow on the same level (where, I mean, the anti- 
tradewind above flowing towards the poles, comes down to the same level as the trade- 
wind below blowing from the poles), called no more trade or anti-tradewinds. The 
anti-tradewind is from here to the poles called the equatorial current of air, and the 
tradewind the polar current of air. 

Yon will remember that in our northern hemisphere the anti-tradewinds returning 
from the equator blow from the south-west ; the tradewinds coming from the poles blow 
from the north-east. We will remark, therefore, in passing that the equatorial current' 
must, as being laden with moisture risen from tho tropic seas, be humid, warm, and bring 
much moisture with it, while the polar current, coming from the arctic regions, will be 
cold and dry. But these two currents are varied in their moisture-bearing capacities by 
maAy local and other circumstances ; great mountains condense their moisture ; the warm 
Gulf Stream has much to do with evaporation in its course j great stretches of prairie and 
of woods cause differences. Here, for instance, in Toronto our Observatory records would 

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give the humid winds as ranging from east round to south-west, largely south-east. This 
is explained by some who have given thought to the subject as being caused by much 
moisture passing from the equatorial current, high above us, into lower currents blowing 
other ways, by the fact that the Kocky Mountains deprive the west wind of much 
moisture, and by the passage of moisture Here across the Atlantic States from the warm 
Gulf Stream and the Gulf of Mexico. Many acute observers, however, hold strongly to 
the south-west wind being the rain-bringer. Still from the equator, one way or another, bu^ 
of course from the south, most of our moisture comes. It may be here remarked that in 
order clearly to comprehend the motion of the winds, it is well ever to keep in mind 
the fundamental law, that all movements of the atmosphere are in consequenca of the 
property gases possess of being expanded by heat, and that the heat of the sun keeps all 
in motion. 

Here is an instance, from the meteorologist Spang, of the meeting of these two 
winds forming whirlwinds : — 

'^ The polar current, in its course towards the south, held in suspense by the equatorial 
or warm current, may be compared to a body of water con£ned by a dam, except that 
the dam has here also a positive force, and if released, a motion of its own. If this aerial 
dam is. broken ^t some point on the surface of the earth, the air of the polar current 
above the break will sink into it, and there will be formed in its upper region a depres- 
sion or trough corresponding to the break. That portion of the equatorial air which has 
opposed the sunken polar air will rush with great force into the depression, and produce 
an eddy or whirl, and cause a rotary storm and a cloud to be formed which assumes the 
form of an inverted cone. This cloud is formed by the sudden and profuse condensation 
of the moisture contained in the air of the equatorial current, which is thrown suddenly 
into higher and colder regions, and sometimes the temperature is so greatly reduced that 
the vapour, after being condensed freezes, and hail is formed by the centrifugal force of 
the rotary storm." 

The two winds just described may be said to be the only two winds in the world. 
All the rest are but modifications of these, occasioned by what may in comparison be 
considered local causes. The different divisions and apportionments of land and water 
here and there cause many inferior rarefactions and condensations, which produce all the 
varied phenomena of tempests, hurricanes, gales hither and thither, which continually 
take place. This forms a chief part in the great plan of Nature. By this many move- 
ments necessary in fitting this world for the habitation of beings like ourselves, are set in 
operation. One very important one, which we shall frequently have occasion to notice, 
is that by this means is borne upwards from the equatorial seas and towards the poles 
that vast mass of moisture previously described. It does not of course all go as far as 
the polar regions, though a great portion does. Much falls back in rain in the tropics, 
and much on the way north and south. It may be here observed that no doubt large 
evaporation of water is continually occurring elsewhere, on ocean, lake and river, and on 
land as well as in the tropical zone. But the last is the chief source of supply.' We will 
now leave this part of the subject and go on to another intimately connected therewith, 
which is necessary to be considered before we can make further headway. 

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• 25 

The Production of Rain. 

To quote from the excellent author I have just mentioned, ** The water is not 
motionless either in the depths of the oceanic basin, in the solid ice, or in the atmosphere. 
Thanks to the always active power of the sun, to the aerial currents, the water rises 
vertically from the depths of the seas to its surface, becomes vaporized at all tempera- 
tures, ascends in the shape of invisible vapour through the ocean of the air, becomes 
condensed into clouds, travels across continents, falls again in the shape of rain, filters 
through the surface of the soil, passes along the strata of impermeable clay, springs up as 
a source or fountain head, descends by the streamlet into the river, and fsJls from the 
river back into the sea again." 

The vapour of water, as we have seen, rises from the ocean, mingles with the dilating 
and arising air, and in immense quantities ascends into the higher regions of the atmos-^ 

Will my readers now for a moment study this little table. It is but nine lines : — 
At 14 deg. a cubic foot of air is saturated with water by the weight of 1 grain. 
30 " " " " 

49 (( « c( tt 

56 ". « " " 

66 " " " " 

80 " " " " 

88 " " " " 

100 " " • " " 

When we thoroughly comprehend the effect of the &ct stated in this table, we 
understand why two clouds or two currents of air more or less saturated with vapour of 
water, coming into contact at certain temperatures, produce rain. It occurs in the follow- 
ing manner : — 

We will notice that a foot of air at a temperature of one hundred (the heat of a very 
hot day indeed) will hold twenty grains of water. If it were only at thirty degrees it 
would hold but two grains of water. Now let us suppose a mass of a thousand cubic 
feet of air at 100 degrees, and holding twenty thousand grains of water. Well, a cold 
current of air comes along, m'eets our cubic mass, and cools it down to thirty degrees. It can 
only hold two thousand grains now ; the cold current has served an ejectment on the odd 
eighteen thousand grains, and they must fall out. They would fall out first into cloud, 
then into rain, and that is a rough sketch of the way in which rain is produced. 

But we will go more slowly, and first show how a cloud is formed. Here are the 
words of an excellent writer on the subject^ so concisely put and so clearly, that we cannot 
do better than copy them : — 

<< The invisible vapour of water spread through the atmosphere becomes visible when 
a decline in the temperature or an addition of moisture brings it to the point of satura- 
tion. Suppose, for instance, that a certain quantity of air at eighty-six degrees contains 
478 grains of vapour of water, this air will be quite transparent. If by some cause or 
other this air descends to seventy-seven degrees, or receives an accession of moisture 
(either will do) it will become opaque. If it is done by the lowering of the teihperature, 
a diminution of nine degrees of heat will cause 108 grains of vapour of water to be con- 
densed and to become visible. This is what a cloud really is : vapour of water which thor 











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air, being saturated, is no longer able to absorb, and which becomes separated from it by 
passing into the state of small yesicle&" 

This is the way clouds form, and, as you will see by the following, it is but by a 
continuation of the same process they are precipitated in rain. If the cold current which 
has produced them from the warmer atmosphere continue to exert its condensing force, 
or if a more saturated current arrive, the process goes on, and now becomes molecular ; 
that is, the larger particles rapidly come together in still larger ones, the force of gravi- 
tation begins to be felt, and the whole process is described by that great meteorologist, 
Herschel, as follows : — 

'' In whatever part of a doud the original ascensional movement of the vapour ceases, 
the elementary globules of which it consists being abandoned to the action of gravity, 
begin to fall. By the theory of the resistance of fluids, the velocity of descent in air of a 
given density is as the square root of the diameter of the globule. The larger globules, 
therefore, fall fastest, and if (as must happen) they overtake the slower ones, they incor- 
porate, and the diameter being thereby increased, the descent grows more rapid and the 
encounters more frequent, till at length the globule emerges from the lower surface of the 
cloud, at the vapour plane, as a drop of rain, the size of the drop depending on the thick- 
ness of the cloud-stratum and its density." 

Now, if my readers have but followed these learned gentlemen through their 
technicalities they have grasped this plain fact : — Rain is the precipitation from the air 
of moisture which was more than it could, at the degree of heat to which contact with a 
colder stratum of air had reduced it, hold in solution. And to show how elevations, 
especially if wood-crowned, produce rain, any one can also easily see that if a saturated 
current of air arrive at a mountain chain or other height, and have to rise into the colder 
atmosphere above, getting colder one degree, according to the season, as they rise 200, 250 
or 330 feet, as the air is the colder the higher we ascend, it must in consequence part with, 
as rain, much of the moisture it carries. Let us remember, too, that rain differs from 
cloud only in being formed of drops produced by the mutual attraction of lesser drops, 
which rapidly fall by force of gravitation to the earth instead of floating, as the smaller 
particles of moisture composing the cloud had been, in the air. 


We will now travel onwards to another important point, and will do our best to 
observe the operation of dew. To understand this we have simply to remember that the 
earth's surface is heated in the day by the sun, and gets much colder at night, the heat it 
has obtained being what is called radiated off. Some objects cool in this way much more 
than others, some leaves of plants more than others. Whatever it may be which cools 
these, these cool the air next to them, and produce the same effect as the cold stratum of 
air we have just been speaking of in connection with clouds ; (when it strikes the warmer 
stratum, that warmer stratum is cooled so much that it cannot hold all its moisture, and 
cloud is formed, and afterwards, if the process be continued, rain) ; so the grass, the 
leaves, paper, glass, wood, aU these cool quickly by radiation, form the cool stratum here 
and compel the air close at hand to part with its moisture to them. We see it in the 
morning covering them in the form of drops and call it dew. 

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Let us for a moment consider what the dew point is, a thing frequently mentioned 
in relation to this. It is the point at which the air is saturated with moisture to the 
extent of all it can hold at its then existing degree of heat. If it be cooled it must lose 
moisture. Now our knowledge of dew on the forest leaves is principally given us by a 
learned gentleman called Meguscher, who says : — 

" Whenever the temperature of the air is above sixty-seven degrees Fahrenheit, the 
temperature of the tree will be, to the extent of the excess, lower. If the temperature 
of the atmosphere be ninety degrees, and the dew-point seventy-five degrees, there will 
be a copious deposit of dew, and if the lower temperature be the consequence of radiation, 
the deposit may be expected to take place over the whole of the upper surface of the 
leaves, in the aggregate, according to Humboldt's measuring, several thousand times the 
area of the ground they cover." 

Baron Hamboldt's statement, to which this refers, is so clear, concise, and yet 
elaborate, that I cannot refrain from giving my readers, iil full, at least this one small 
gem from the innumerable brilliancies of this great traveller's writings. He was one of 
those always successful writers who are successful first that they see, at any cost of travel, 
all that is possible concerning they mean to tell of, and next, know how to tell it. He 
says : — 

" The forest region acts in a threefold manner — by the coolness induced by its shade, 
by evaporation, and by the cooling process of radiation. Forests uniformly composed in 
our temperate zone of 'social plants' belonging to the families of the Conifene or 
Amentacese (the oak, beech and birch), and under the tropics composed of plants not 
living socially, protect the ground from direct insulation, evaporate the fluids they have 
themselves produced, and cool the contiguous strata of air by the radiation of heat from 
their leafy appendicular organs. The leaves are by no means all parallel to one 
another, and present different inclinations towards the horizon, and according to the laws 
-established by Leslie and Fourier, the influence of this inclination on the quantity of heat 
emitted by radiation is such that the radiating power of a given measured surface a, 
having a given oblique direction, is equal to the radiating power of a leaf of the size of a 
projected on the horizontal plane. In the initial condition of radiation of all the leaves 
which form the summit of a tree, and which partially cover each other, those which are 
directly presented towards the unclouded sky will be first cooled. 

" This production of Cold (or the exhaustion of heat by emission) will be the more 
considerable in proportion to the thinness of the leaves. A second stratum of leaves has 
its upper surface turned to the under surface of the former, and will give out more heat 
by radiation towards that stratum than it can receive from it. The result of this unequal 
exchange will then be a diminution of temperature for the second stratum also. A similar 
action will extend from stratum to stratum till all the leaves of the tree, by their greater 
or less radiation, as modified by their difference of position, have passed into a condition 
of stable equilibrium, of which the law may be deduced by mathematical analysis. In 
this manner, in the serene and long nights of the equinoctial zone, the forest air which is 
oontained in the interstices between the strata of leaves, becomes cooled by the process of 
radiation ; for a tree, a horizontal section of whose summit would hardly measure two 
thousand square feet, would, in consequence of the great number of its appendicular 
•organs (the leaves) produce as great a diminution in the temperature of the air as a space 
-of bare land or turf many thousand times greater than two thousand square feet." 

Tiddng this and the proceeding paragraphs together, we must be aware that the 
forest absorbs much moisture from dew, which will either fall in drops on the ground, or 
be disseminated in the whole atmosphere within and above the forest. All that falls 
"within or stays within is safe^ from the sun's drying power. So with whatever rain may 

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fall on the forest, it soaks into the spongy bed of the ground, renewing that deposit of 
moisture which, in winter the snow had kept fuUj supplied. The snow was kept there in 
the partial shade of the branches, the water melting from it kept hj the peculiarities of the- 
surface — ^that soil of the forest already described, with its roots, logs, and inequalities — 
till spring was advanced and yet a good supply of moisture remained for summer. Then 
comes the rain,' and is stored like the former, while night after night the dew adds it6. 
share and assists in maintaining the great forest bank, on which the thirsty fields for- 
miles round perpetually draw, and perpetually, too, return back honestly that moisture 
which they have borrowed. So long as the forest is left in fair amount, field and wood 
act, in reference to supplies of water, like a great self-regulating and compensating^ 
machine. But when we destroy one part of the engine, we do not find it to work (and^ 
no wonder) so beneficially or so smoothly as before. 

The moisture in forests is further increased by that obtained from mists, which are^ 
in fact, clouds forming near the earth. The particles in these are not yet large enough to 
form drops of rain, and are, till further condensed by change of temperature, kept apart 
by the nature of their present support in the air. But, as when one is passing through 
a fog, the water collects on the beard and on the clothes, so with trees, though the 
particles of moisture in the fog be so small that a heated wind (rising the temperature, 
which, as before explained, renders the air capable of taking in more vapour of water)- 
might have absorbed and carried it all away again. Yet all which touch the innumerable- 
leaves stay there, coalesce there, run together, and fall to the ground. 

It must be remembered with relation to dew on forest leaves, that there is a vast 
transpiration frequently going on from them, which must interfere somewhat with the 
deposit of dew on the same leaf. This transpiration, which will be shortly described, 
takes place while the tree is warm, that is, uncooled by radiation, and continues till &r 
on in the night. It becomes more feeble, as various writers state, from the leaves of 
plants of all species, when covered with dew. This is inevitable ; the leaf must cool to- 
form dew ; it is before cooling that transpiration is most active. It must also be remem- 
bered that except in case of leaves such as water-lilies, which float, the openings — ^the 
atomcUa — are largely on the tt/nder surface, thereby interfering less with the operation of 

The reader will find it worth while to study these three or four paragraphs by an 
acute writer relating to the same subject: — 

"The clouds occasionally seen over woods, while the atmosphere around is com- 
pararatively clear, are consequent on the condensation of the humidity occasioned by the 
evorporation from the leaves." 

" There is always moisture existing in the atmosphere ; it is reckoned one of its con- 
stant constituents, but it varies in quantity. The qua^itity is minute compared with that 
of the oxygen and nitrogen of the air; but it is never absent. There it is, on the highest 
mountain and in the deepest mine; on the ocean's surface and on the dry land a thousand 
miles away. " 

" The quantity of moisture passing into the atmosphere from the leaves of a forest 
in active vegetation must be considerable. Oalculate the number of stomata, or stomates, 
on a leaf, multiply this by the number of leaves on a branch, the product by the number ^ 
of such branches on a tree, and the product of this by the total number of trees in the- 
clump, or the total number of trees in the forest, and the final product will indicate the- 

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provisioii made for evaporation from the forest. There are similar stomates on every 
verdant plant on the dry land; but the evaporating surface supplied by the leaves, rising 
tier above tier, far exceeds in extent that supplied by the herbage and the grass growing 
•elsewhere; and in many places these may be found growing as luxuriantly on the soil of 
the forest as in the fields beyond, or perhaps more so, and adding their quota of evapo- 
ration to the evaporation from the trees. " 

" Of the moisture thus raised by the tree, and no longer required when the sap has 
been elaborated in the leaf, the air will only take up what quantity it can, at the tempera- 
ture at that time and place, dissolve and hold in solution ; and cases have been cited in 
which the excess is so great that the leaves seem to act as alembics, distilling water which 
falls in great drops to the ground. 

" Where this does not take place, what the air dissolves it will hold in solution so 
long as the temperature is maintained at the same or a higher point; but if the tempera- 
ture fall* below the point at which it can do this, what it cannot sustain as invisible 
vapoui*, will be deposited or suspended in the form of mist, or cloud ; and such a reduc- 
tion may follow the setting of the sun, or even the decline of it in the afternoon and 
towards nightfall; or if there come over the trees a wind in any degree colder than the 
air in which they are enveloped, the air is thereby cooled down, and a quantity of the 
moisture which it held in solution may be deposited in the form of fog, or of dew, or of 

The same writer shows us another remarkable effect of the soil of forests: — 

*' A distinction has been drawn between the effects produced on the ground by the 
«hade from sunshine, and by the shelter from drying winds afforded by trees and forests. 
It is necessary further to distinguish between the effects produced by shade and by 
vegetable mould, which exists always in greater or less quantity in forest soil, in conse- 
quence of the decay and decomposition of fallen leaves and fallen twigs, and broken or 
xiecaying rootlets. 

" In the soil of a forest there generally exists mpre moisture than can be attributed 
to shade, or to shade and shelter combined ; and much of this is attributable to the attrac- 
tion of moisture manifested by this vegetable mould. 

" In this effect of vegetable mould we see how forests may exercise a third influence, 
over and above and distinct from both shade and shelter, in maintaining a humidity of 


From what has been so far stated concerning the forest, my readers will have seen 
that it is a great storehouse of moisture, so long as its natural bed and foundation be pre- 
served from the injures occasioned by cattle and running fires, and while it is reserved in 
sections of sufficient depth and width, to thoroughly maintain its forest character, and 
establish decided variations between its temperature and that of the cleared land. They 
vdll have seen that that moisture will in such case be continually renewed from the 
depths of the earth to which the tap-roots pierce, in addition to the larger supply received 
from the clouds above. They will have seen that the sun's rays cannot again carry off 
this moisture when it is once within the forest wall. They will have seen that the wind, 
which dries faster thaa the sun, and extremely fast when it has the sun to help it, cannot 
dry the land in the forest. That the moisture thus kept in the forest is used to feed the 
rivers, streams, creeks, and springs, and to keep up the whole underground system of 
water below the fields ; and also, and in very great •part, to carry up nourishment from 
the roots to the leaves, escaping in vast volume thence to the higher atmosphere through 
the not innumerable altogether, for they have been counted; but through the wondrously 
numerous openings in the leaves (160,000 sometimes to the square inch; the most 

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complete little contrivances imaginable, with a door and hinges to each, and fall power to 
shut or open them, all as the tree needs). Stop one moment, and notice that when the 
leaves are cool, and dew is forming on them, as it would on any dead substance 
which cools by radiation, these doors can be shut. When the tree is warm with life from 
the sun again, they can open, and transpiration (as the out flow of vapour from the leavea 
is called), or absorption of moisture if the tree need it, go on in full vigour. We cannot 
do better, to interest ourselves in the operation, than to read the description written by a. 
distinguished gentleman of France (the Marshal Yaillant), who made it a special study, 
and gave much time to experiments connected therewith. He says: — 

*' Even the most humble plants, such as chickweeds and meadow grasses, evaporate 
considerable quantities of water. 

" If from herbaceous plants or modest shrubs we turn to our large forest trees, we 
may expect that, compared with the weeds of which we have just spoken, they will tran- 
spire a large quantity of water, which is probably in proportion to the number of leaves 
and their extent of surface ; and it is our belief that this summer function of the leavea 
is carried on by the trunk and branches during the whole year. 

"From whence comes the water so rapidly transpired by the foliage? Certainly 
from the soil. 

" I placed in a large jug of water, tightly closed up to hinder the natural evapora- 
tion of the water, the end of an oak branch, five feet long and nearly an inch thick at the 
butt It was cut from a tree eighty feet high and three feet thick. In three days it had 
lost thirty ounces of water. 

" If we believe that all the leafy part of a tree will act, as regards the faculty of tran 
spiration, like the leaves of the above-mentioned branch, we arrive at the astounding re&ult 
that an oak like the one described will in a summer day cause the evaporation of more 
than 440 gallons of water. 

" I am not decided as to the valu6 of my experiment, and see that my deductions are 
not free from objections ; but it must be allowed that supposing even half or one-quarter 
of the estimated quantity be omitted, the quantity must greatly exceed what might have 
been expected." 

, Let us use the excellent Marquis's experiment, and draw our own inferences, which 
will put us, probably, in a position a step farther advanced. The branch with its leaves^ 
no doubt, sent off this vast proportion. But branches on trees probably do not. If 
my readers will remember what is previously stated about the mouths of a tree (the 
spongioles, as they are called, at the ends of the roots), they will notice that these take in 
as much water as the tree needs to carry up its nourishment and act as its vehicle to the 
leaves, where all water not needed is sent off by transpiration into the air. Now the 
leaves, it may be supposed, having no such functions, not being the sentinels at the root 
gates, may transpire while they live as much water as is sent up to them, and we may 
suppose the transpiration machine working furiously, when the Marquis had cut off the 
connections with the roots, as a steam engine with the regulating valves left unattended. 
They would, no doubt, take it in at the severed end of the branch, and send it off by 
the leaves. But though the forest draws much up, and transpires it, this experiment does 
not prove that it draws up the enormouA quantity spoken of. 

Taken with this understanding and qualification, however, we can well believe the 
rest of the Marquises comments, which are in fact generally adopted as correct by meteor- 
ologists, and of which Mr. Orombie Brown, a high authority, thus speaks: — "With 

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regard to the main fact, that the emission of moisture by the leaves of the forest is very 
great, we are at one. " 

The Marquis's views thus largely corroborated are: — 

*' It is an accepted fact, and not without reason, that the neighbourhood of forests is 
cold and damp. This is far from astonishing when one thinks of the enormous volume of 
water transformed by forests into vapour, and the quantity of heat absorbed in this trans- 
formation. This heat must have been obtained somewhere, perhaps from the soil of the 
forest and that of the neighbourhood. 

'' In the same way there should be great damp in the neighbourhood of forests, 
especially when the temperature is high, and it cannot be otherwise, on account of the 
enormous amount of water in the form of vapour which is discharged by forests into the 
adjacent atmosphere. 

" This vapour is emitted in much greater abundance during the day than during 
the night. Towards night, a little after sunset, when the general temperature begins to 
fall, the transpiration not yet having time to slacken, and ascending into a colder air 
changes into visible fog, like our own breath in like circumstances, and this fog in its turn 
becomes a cloud on the following morning, when the sun warms its particles; but whether 
clouds or fogs, they will be carried away by the first breeze to descend in showers. 

" If these details as to the formation of forest fogs be correct, such fogs should be more 
frequent in calm weather, when the air is naturally more moist and especially when the 
contract is greater between the cool of the evening and the heat of the day. The test of 
conditions for the formation of thick fogs is especially complete, at least in our climate, 
towards the end of summer and the first half of autumn ; and it is during this period that 
the phenomenon is most frequent and noticeable. 

''If the transpiration carried on by the leaves were coloured and perceptible, it 
would be a grand sight to see great columns of vapour ascending majestically into the air, 
diminishing by their heights the distance between the tops of the trees and the stormy 
clouds ; and as this vapour facilitates the passage of electricity, by increasing the moisture^ 
of the air with which it mingles, the facility with which isolated trees are struck with 
lightning can be accounted for." 

If my readers have followed me, and we have succeeded in arriving at a clear explana- 
tion, we will now have had : — 

1. A short account of the manner of growth of a tree. 

2. The system of the winds and their method of conveying moisture. 

3. The causes of the moisture being precipitated and falling to the earth as rain. 
We will now proceed to notice : — 

The Connection op Forests with the Production op Rain. 

We have observed that the winds returning, charged with heat and moisture, from 
the equator in their course to the north pole, bear with them an immense quantity of 
water. As has been said, the torrid seas send their surface, sixteen feet deep, to the skies. 
in the form of vapour in a year. Of this it has been computed that six feet are dis- 
charged in rain in the tropics, the remainder sent towards the poles, towards the north 
pole about six feet — a tremendous mass of water. In addition, we must remember, vast 
though lesser amounts of water, are taken up from the rest of the surface of the world, 
both land and sea, and though the south-west winds, evident or concealed by changing 
currents, must be our chief supply, yet water-charged clouds from other sources pasa 
over in all directions as well. 

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From abundant proof and many observations, as well as from the natural reasoning 
'Concerning what must be the case under such circumstances, it is evident that there is 
•arising from forests a vast amount of vapour of water, which, as we have seen, is the 
lightest of vapours. This vapour will necessarily be cool, as is the forest region from 
which it comes. 

The winds bearing moisture coming from the south will not be generally as cooL 
These, meeting the ascending streams of cool and moist air arising from a forest region, 
. must be deprived thereby of their power of holding a great part of the water they carry, 
which must shortly descend in rain near the place of conjunction, according to the tem- 
perature of the approaching wind, and the amount of water it bears. 

Thus we have the chain of proof, and the direct influence of forests in securing rain 
•during summer given in its completion. Spring and summer are the seasons when the 
internal functions of trees are in their greatest activity ] then is transpiration most active ; 
then rise from them most columns of humid air towards the clouds. Spring has not 
so many leaves, but then the sun pierces the forest, and draws from the ground — the bed 
of moisture, as before explained — an amount of vapour many times greater than the fields 
-can afford. This cool vapour, rising and meeting the south, south-east, or south-west 
wind forms rain. And these seasons, spring and summer, are those in which rain is most 
needed by the thirsty fields and the growing vegetation. This is the value of woods to 
the farmer. 

We have now gone over the complete system of transpiration of moisture by wind 
throughout the atmosphere from equator to poles and back to the equator again. But it 
was also remarked that there were many important circumstances of local origin which 
.produced local results in the distribution of moisture and the arrangement of climate. To 
us in the Province of Ontario there are existing very important local circumstances indeed, 
which undoubtedly have a great influence, that is to say, the presence of the great lakes. 
Our chief reservoir of moisture, as is'that of all the world, is the equatorial ocean. But 
our lakes also greatly help, and there is no doubt that their presence largely contributed 
to the establishment of the splendid forests we have destroyed, and to the accumulation 
•of the layer of rich land on which those woods rested. We cannot do better than now to 
cfldl to our assistance the aid of a gentleman who has given, as far as I can find, the best 
explanation of these local phenomena, Dr. P. H. Bryoe, M. A., of Toronto. 

But before reading this it would be well to study carefully the few pages following, 
here, after which the other as connected with these great principles, will be much better 
-comprehended. The article is from the world-renowned 'pen of Herschel, and is fully in 
accord with the explanations of writers of a late date : — 

Of Land and Water as Recipienta and Gomnwmicants of Heat, 

<< Of the solar heat which actually reaches the surface of the globe, that which falls on 
water penetrates it to some moderate depth and is absorbed internally, while that which 
Ha incident on land is wholly absorbed superficially, or within a very minute thickness. 
Water, moreover, is eminently a non-conductor of heat, so that once received into its sub- 
stance, it is only diffusible by agitation ; and since this, however violent at the sur&M$e of 
the ocean, diminishes rapidly with the depth, the ultimate communication of heat down- 
wards to any considerable depth is a very slow process. By far the greater portion of the 

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daily supply of heat to water, then, may be said to float within a moderate depth of the 
surface, forming a kind of reservoir of heat. On the other hand, water is a good radiant^ 
and as such is continually, both day and night, giving off radiant caloric, which is absorbed 
by traversing the air, and thereby tends to raise the temperature of the latter medium. 
Hence, it is most probable that much of the heat so radiated off is detained in the 
lower strata of air. Meanwhile a balance is struck in the water itself of the quajiti- 
ties received and parted with, by the preponderance of one or the other of which it gaino or 
loses in average temperature in the twenty-four hour& Thus, in the warm season, when 
days are long and nights short, the general temperature of the air is slowly rising above 
its annual average, and vice versa in the opposite season. Below a certain depth, however, 
the temperature of the ocean would appear to be determined by other causes, and to 
be very little dependent on its superficial amount or fluctuations. It results from the ob- 
servations of Kotzebue, Beechy, and Sir James C. Ross as a general fact ascertained by 
thermometric soundings that the deep sea water below a certain level, determined by 
the latitude, is of invariable temperature throughout the globe, and that a very low one ; 
the calculations of Lenz founded on Kotzebue, results, giving 36"^ F., and those of Ross, 
39^.5 (which last is the temperature at which pure water attains its maximum of density). 
The depth at which the flxed temperature is attained, is about 7,200 feet at the equator, 
diminishing to latitude 56* on either side of that line, where it attains the surface, and 
the sea (superficial currents apart) is of equal temperature at all depths. Thence, again, 
the upper surface of this uniform substratum descends, and at 70* of latitude has already 
attained a depth of 4,500 feet. Thus the ocean is divided into three great regions ; two 
polar basins in which the surface temperature is below 39*, and one medial zone above it, 
attaining 82* at the equator, and at the poles of course the freezing point of sea-water. 
It is within these respective regions only then, that superficial currents can act aa trans- 
porters of meteorological temperatura 

<< The habitudes of dry land with relation to incident heat are very different. There 
is no mobility of parts, and the communication of heat downwards is therefore entirely 
a process of conduction. But what is most influential, is the fact that the absorption is 
performed strictly on the -exposed surface, which therefore in the instant of absorption 
fixes upon itself within a very minute depth all the heat which^ falling upon water, would 
in the same instant be disseminated through many feet or yards of its substance. The 
mere superficial film then becomes much more heated, and since it is a law of radiation 
that its intensity increases rapidly with the temperature of the radiant surface, it radiates 
out on the very instant a much larger fraction of the total incident heat, than in the case 
of water, besides imparting to the air, by contact communication a proportionally greater 
amount. In water, the absorbed heat is for the most part withdrawn from the radiant 
action, enveloped and husbanded. In dry land it is instantly and wholly exposed to such 
action in its most intense form. It is no uncommon thing in dry and light (i. e. badly 
conducting) soils, in hot climates to find a superficial temperature of 120* to 140* F., or 
even more. 

** That portion of the heat which enters the soil is conducted downwards, and so long 
as the surface is gaining in temperature a wave of heat is continuously jpropagated down- 
wards into the earth. When i^e surface, however, by the decline of the sun, begins to 
lose heat, this ceases, and (the radiation still continuing) what may be called a wave of 
cold (less comparative heat) begins to be propagated, and so on alternately during the day 
and night. These waves as they run on spread forwards and backwards, and so by degrees 
neutralize and destroy each other. Thus the diurnal fluctuations of temperature beneath 
the surface grow continually less as the depth increases, the rate of diminution depending 
on the " oonductibility " of the soil. In ordinary soils, the difference between the diurnal 
and nocturnal extremes becomes imperceptible at four feet below the surface. In like 
manner the general increase of heat due to the summer season, and of cold during winter 
are propagated in similar, but larger and fuller annual waves, which, in their turn neu- 
tralize each other at more considerable depths and become imperceptible at forty or fifty 
feet. Prof. Forbes has shown in an elaborate memoir on this subject that at depths varying • 
from fifty-seven to ninety-nine feet according to the nature of the soil, the annual 
Tariation does not exceed 0*.01 C. 

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*' The absorption of incideiit heat as 8ol(»r heai and its radiation ontwards as terrea- 
trial heat («. e. heat of a much more absorbable nature) by the solid surface depends very 
much on the nature of its substance ; but if the ground be covered with vegetation, the 
whole of the incident heat is returned back either by radiation or contact communication, 
to the air ; and the soil receives no heat where so covered otherwise than oirouitously 
through the medium of heated air. All these causes acting together, produce a vast dif- 
ference as respects the temperature of the air in regions of the globe covered by the 
ocean and those occupied by dry land. In the former, the fluctuations both diurnal and 
annual are confined within very much narrower limits than in the latter ; and this con* 
trast which theory indicates, is confirmed by universal observation as the expression of 
the distinction between an insular and a carUinetUal climate, or that of a small island 
remote from all other land and of the central regions of an extensive continent If there 
be one general feature in meteorology more prominent than another it is the uniformity 
of temperature over large bodies of water, as compared to that under similar expoBures 
to the sun on land." 

Terreitrial Sadiaiion, 

" The theory of radiant heat promulgated by Prevost, which all experimental enquiry 
into the subject, has tended to confirm, lays it down as a principle, that a mutual inter- 
change of heat is continually taking place between aU bodies freely exposed to view of 
each other, the hotter- radiating more than the colder, in the ratio of some function in- 
creasing with the temperaturei The experiments of Dcdong and Pefit on the radiation of 
bodies in vacuo have shown that this function, within the limits of their experiments is 
of the exponential form, or in other words, that the force of radiation in vacuo increases 
in geometrical progression as the excess of temperature of the radiant body above that 
of its envelope increases in arithmetical. Hence when a hot body is placed in presence of 
bodies, some colder, some hotter than itself, an equilibrium will rapidly be established, in 
which its momentary gains and losses of heat to and fro among them all will balanoe each 
other, and its temperature will thenceforward be unchanged. • 

<* The mean temperature of the earth remaining unchanged, it necessarily follows that 
it emits by radiation Jrom and through the surface of its atmosphere, on an average, the 
exact amount of heat it receives from the sun ; i. «. as much as would melt 0.01093 
inch thickness of ice per minute over one of its great circles, which is equivalent to l-40th 
inch of water per hour over its whole surface, condensed from its dewpoint. Taking this 
as the measure of the total average radiation, one-third of it, or 1-1 20th inch, may be 
taken as radiated off from the atmosphere without even reaching the earth, and the 
remaining two-thirds, (l-60th inch), may be considered as got rid of by radiation from 
the surface of the earth. Let us now consider tHe manner in which this takes place, 
supposing a dear sky to prevail :^ 

*^ Conduction through the soil is a very slow process, radiation a very rapid one. So 
soon, then, as the sun has sunk so low as not to counteract the earth's radiation, the im- 
mediate surface begins to part with its heat, at first slowly, but as night advances more 
rapidly, and at length faster than it can percolate from the interior to supply the waste. 
The surface therefore becomes greatly chilled, and a wave of cold is prc^Mtgated down- 
wards, neutralizing and destroying the heat wave rising to meet it, a process which goes 
on leisuiely, and takes its own time. Meanwhile the diilled surface now borrows heat 
from the air also, to supply its waste ; 1st, by contact communication ; 2nd, by down- 
ward radiation ; and 3rd, by condensation of vapour when the temperature of the surface 
air is reduced to the dewpoint, and thus attains that state of equilibrium which the 
circuxnstancea admit of." 

We will now consider the facts adduced by Dr. Bryce, premising thaA although cor- 
rectly expressing the author's views as to facts and figures, it is (as is too often the case 
with newspaper reports), not nearly aa well worded, and not as connected as the original 
paper. The only full copy, however, unfortunately wandered into that Slopgh of Despcmd, 

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the OttAVa Dead Letter Office, and from that bourne few travellers return. I therefore 
give it as it appeared in the newspaper : — 

i^^oBEST Aim Rainfall. 

^e following abridgment of the paper on this subject, read by Mr. P. TEL Bryce, 
M. A., of the Ontario School of Agriculture^ before the Canadian Institute, will be found 
interesting: — 

" That there is an estimate relation between forests and rainfall, and that the destruc- 
tion of forests produces aridity and finally sterility^ seems to have been long understood, 
the Greeks recognizing the truth of it by considering it unpardonable to cut down the 
olive trees in an enemy's country. The opinion of Bernard Palissey and the prediction of 
Mirabeau, as regarded the destruction of forests in France were sustained, and in other 
countries the voice of warning has been heard against this eviL' 

"The remark of Governor Hant, of Denver, Colorado, " I am convinced that farming 
in Colorado resolves itself into a question of water, and its judicious application," the 
reader held to be largely true concerning various branches of farming in Ontario. In 
Canada, however, it was more a question of regulating the supply, or of obtaining it at 
the proper periods. That the Canadian cHmate has undergone great changes in the last 
forty years is looked upon largely as an inexplicable fact, while tiie scientist regards it as 
an effect dependant on pliysi<»l causes known or hidden. 

"The whole area of Ontario is 121,260 square miles, while that of the lakes about it 
is 100,000 square miles ; a large portion of the Province must,, therefore, be affected by 
this large body of water. In the autumn, when the earth's position causes a declination 
of the sun's rays, the surface of the treeless land becomes very rapidly cooled by radia- 
tion^ and with this cooling vegetable growth largely ceases. The lake waters, however, 
which during the summer have been slowly storing up heat, do not radiate it thus rapidly, 
while experiment shpws that in September the temperature of the water, at least in Lake 
Ontario, is higher than that of the land. In November, 1837, the water according to 
Professor Dewey, averaged forty-six and the land thirty-six degrees. The land begins to 
feel the influence of the growing sun by January, when the water has radiated most of its 
heaib. Daring the whole of this period, however, the land has had sweeping over it, 
currents of air with their temperature elevated by contact with the warmer surface of the 
waters in the regions lying to the north and north-west. These, carrying moisture, come 
in contact with the cold land, and mists and rains are precipitated. 

"•Not only does the cold land cause precipitation of this moisture, but the much higher 
level of much of the land over that of the lakes increases the cold at about the rate of one 
degree for every 430 feet, and, therefore, increases precipitation. Add to these causes 
the influence of the north-east winds, cooled by passing over great extents of land surface, 
and some idea is had of the principal causes which conduce to the great snow falls of the 
central plateaux of this Province, while the lower and more southern countries obtain the 
same amounts of moisture largely as rain. Another set of phenomena mark the progress 
of spring, the advent of which is marked by the great prevalence of northerly winds, of 
which, on the whole, we seem to have more now than thirty years aga The reasons for 
these northerly winds seems evident By the 20th of March the sun's rays are beating 
powerfully upon the earth for twelve hours per diem, rapidly elevating its temperature. 
The atmosphere over the land, becoming heated, rises, and its place is supplied by cold 
winds coming in from the lakes, especially from the ice-cold waters and ice-fields of 
Georgian Bay and Lake Huron. Conditions the opposite of those of winter now exist. 
Inst^ul of the moisture of the winds from the lakes becoming condensed as the winds 
blow over the land, the wind becomes drier, because warmer, and only when a cold north- 
east current meets these moist currents from the lakes will the moisture be precipitated. 
In the summer months we find long days, and also the perpendictdar rays of the sun, 
elevating to an enormous extent the temperature of the treeless sur&Mse, while from the 
surrounding lakes currents of cooler air are continually rushing in to supply the place of 
the ascending heated column. Thede cooler lake breezes, while keeping our climata inpre 

pleasant and moist than inland regions less favourablj situated, are at the same time 
elevated in temperature by passing over the heated land, thus being enabled to retain the 
moisture which, passing over a cooler surface, they would precipitate. This condition o£ 
the air continuing throughout the whole summer season, the natural consequence would 
be that the summer would be drier than where the surface is protected by trees. With » 
bare, treeless surface, therefore, there would be : — 1. An autumn warm and moist. 2. A 
winter with much snow, falling irregularly and much cold wind from the north and north- 
west 3. A spring raw and cold, with prevailing north-west winds, with necessarily a 
large precipitation of moisture. 4. A hot and comparatively dry summer. 

" Interposing among these phenomena the influence of trees, Uie relative rate of cooling 
between the water and the land greatly changes. With the sun's rays beating down on the 
ground it will frequently rise to ninety or ninety-five degrees; but a tree intercepting the 
sun's rays prevents the high temperature of the ground. Now, though the intercepting tree 
does become elevated, the rise is slower and never reaches the same height as that of the 
bare soil for several reasons : — 1. The green foilage is not so good an absorbent of heat 
as, say a dark soil. 2. Since the tissues of the trees are full of sap, and since the specific 
heat of water is about four times as great as that of the soil, the sap will not rise in 
temperature so rapidly as would the soiL 3. On account of the circulation of the sap, 
successive portions are being continually presented to the heating influences of the sun's 
rays, but as the rapidity of circulation is increased with heat, and as the sap, coming up 
from the deep portions of the earth surrounding the roots, must have a comparatively 
low temperature, the elevation in temperature of the whole volume of sap must 
necessarily be slow. 4. The much greater amount of evaporation taking place from the 
leaves and branches of the tree than does from the soil, produces a greater degree of cold 
than would be produced by less evaporation. 5. The greater amounts of moisture in the 
air surrounding trees will prevent a rapid rise in temperature. These causes combined 
prevent the tree from attaining to the maximum temperature till evening. Badiation 
from its surface then setting in will be much slower thsm in the case of the soil. Hence 
the temperature does not sink so low as that of the unprotected soiL 

*' He proceeded to explain the effect over a whole country clothed with forests, con- 
tending that while the slower decrease of the trees temperature in autumn augured a 
higher temperature, the moderating influenqes of forests on the winter were beyond 
question. In spring, the sun's rays being intercepted cannot melt the snow so rapidly, 
and on this account spring floods are largely prevented, the winter grains and clover are 
protected for a longer period from the effects of thaws by day and frosts by night. 
Slower radiation prevents so many night thaws, and the baneful chilling influences of cold 
raw winds are much mitigated. Among other things, the trees, becoming elevated in 
temperature but slowly, act as condensers to the vapours swept over them froAi the 
surface of the lakes, thus supplying frequent showers to the growing plants, while at the 
same time, by preventing so rapid evaporation, they aid the rains in effecting their fructi- 
fying influences. 

<< The reader then proceeded to consider at length Canada's present condition, and in 
doing so remarked that where settlement has existed for at least twenty -five years, three- 
quarters of the forest has been destroyed, while in few cases is the preserved wood dis- 
tributed over the surface with any regard to its protecting influences, so it may be said, 
that three-fourths of the influences that would be exerted in our climate under a treeless 
surface are at work. 1. A cold, raw spring, with high winds and frequently much dry 
weather during germination. 2. A hot summer, with but little rain, the dryness increas- 
ing regularly from May to August 3. An irregular winter, with frequent high winds, 
irregular snow falls, etc. These conclusions would be borne out by the following 
statistics :— 

The total precipitation of moisture has decreased. Thus the 

Total Show and Rain. 

1840-44 216.57 inches. 

1860-64 164.684 t, 

1860-64 160.387 n 

1870-74 DigMM^OOgle 


or, between the Ist and 4tli periods there was a total decrease of 63.95 inches, or a yearly 
difference of 12.79 inches. 

The total moisture is divided as follows : — 

Total Rain Fall. 

1840-44 191.020 inches. 

1860-64 137.999 „ 

1860^64 131.706 „ 

1870-74 113.160 .. 

or, between the 1st and 4th periods there was a total decrease of 77.87 inches, or a yearly 
difference of 16.36 inches. 

Total Skow Fall (12 inches snow, 1 inch rain). 

1840-44 322.70 inches. 

1850-54 320.10 i, 

1860-64 344.38 n 

1870-74 473.83 t. 

or, between the 1st and 4th periods there was a total difference of 161.13 inches, or a 
yearly increase of 12.59 inches. 

These calculations agree exactly with theory. In comparing the individual quarters 
of each period, he arrived at the following; results : — March has remained much the same 
still ; with April is found a decrease of more than j^ inch, a decrease that increases with 
each month until September. Thus : — 

April, July, August, 
May, June. September. 

1840-44 48.56 68.101 

1850-54 40.195 48.625 

1860-64 32.742 45.617 

1870-74 34.670 36.14 

The significance of this unpleasant change must be evident to all. The average tempera- 
ture of the two months of germination is lower now than it was forty years ago. Thus: — 


1840-44 29.88 

1850-54 30.24 

1860-64 29.02 

1870^74 27.24 

This undoubted fact causes what is termed a late spring, the period for growth and 
development of the plant being shorter than formerly. The temperature of May, the 
first month of real growth, is now warmer than formerly, by an average of nearly two 
degrees. The growtii is thus apparently forced unnaturally to make up for loss in April, 
but the attempt is rendered futile by an undue dryness, the rainfall in May having 
been: — 

1840-44 15.016 inches. 

1850-54 13.675 .. 

1860-64 14.056 ,. 

1870-74 : 8.640 ^il ^T^ 

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" The drjneaEi increasingy the growing plant has neither the means nor the time for its 
perfect development, while the dryness of the last months of summer' has become sp 
extreme as to cause entire uncertainty as to the existence of good pastures. The young 
clover is frequently ''burnt up," and general failure results. 

'* Mr. Bryce discussed at considerable length the causes of the wholesale destruction of 
our forests ; the action of our Indiai^ and Australian Governments regarding forests ; the 
extent and condition of forests in Britain, Germany, JEVance, Austria, Hungary, and the 
means adopted for preservation there. 

''The remedies he suggested were reconstruction of at least part of what had been 
destroyed, and replanting in an intelligent manner. Another remedy was irrigation. He 
argued to show Uiat cultured woodland is the most profitable form in which land can be 
held, and quoted the produce of an acre in seventy years to have been X469. 15s. 6d. 
Such facts he adduced to combat the idea of non-practibility of any organized system of 
tree-planting as a source of profit. The remainder of the paper was devoted to sugges- 
tions for legislation on the subject.'' 

Thb Lbssohs of History akd some Comtemporaby Evidbkob. 

We have now studied the scientific aspect, let us have a word on the results histori- 
cally and geographically noticed, where forests were destroyed. 

The progress made by Germany in tree-planting is but part of her general progress. 
The credit is given to the great Frederick ; It was part of the National policy of his day, 
which raised Prussia from a small power to a great one, and to the energetic continuance 
of that policy, Germany owes Sadowa and Sedan. By this forethought vast armies havo 
been maintained where once the sandy deserts would not nourish a flpck of. goats,, 
and successive regiments of hardy soldiers have poured forth from the fertile soil where,, 
two hundred years ago^ the mggid debris of winter torrents, the thorn and the thistle,, 
overspread a thirsty and an impoverished land. 

In France, the aristocrats, not unwise in all, had preserved the forests. But when 
Jacques Bonhomme, not wise in all, had overthrown their tyranny, he bethought him 
that no good policy could flow from so bitter a fountain, proceeded straightway to 
emulate with the axe the ravages of the guillotine, and succeeded in no long time in almost 
staying crop growth in field or meadow adjacent to where he had heaviest laid his grove- 
destroying hand« Wiser councils now prevail ; experience has borne its fruits, and the- 
French forests, particularly those near the sea, bear witness how readily Providence- 
assists a liberal, how sternly she repays a greedy and a grasping cultivator. There Ib a 
deep lesson in the old verse, " Thou shalt not reap the comers of thy field." 

It may be said of a large part of Italy, of Spain, and of Turkey, that, owing to the 
injudicious clearing of the forests from their most elevated portions — ^the watersheds, in 
fflict, which fed the nether springs, bubbling spontaneous up, the source and feeders of 
many a river through all the lower land — ^fully one^third of .those countries are in a state 
of infertility and insalubrity as unnecessary as it is complete. Th^ tourist of to-day, full 
of Cervantes and of Le Sage, passes through Spain in wonder whither have gone the 
umbrageous forests, the pleasant groves, the cool fountains which, however few their 
other comforts, never failed to the philosophic Gil or the chivalrous Don. In Turkey, 
too, he can weU see why the crescent pales, when he observes vast pachaliks, once sending 
many thousand strong sons of Islam to the horse-tail standards, now desert and barren, 
despoiled of their forests^ and necessarily, thereafter, stripped by the elements of the soil 

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those woods alone preserved. It is not the mere absence of m^i. Turkey lias many 
sabjeet territories^ axyl many means (d retaining recsruiis. It is th&t tbere kaa been an 
absence of thinkers — of leaders — of men who had minds to understand the sources of fer- 
tility and national strength, and energy to impress them on their countrymen. When 
we read of the great armaments sent out, in forme? days^ by the Ottomans^ by Spain, by 
Greece, we should remember that these great efforts — ^now represented by a rusty anchor, 
some broken armour on the hall pillars, or a few time-shattered towers, and perhaps three 
lines in a history — augured and indeed implied broad harvests, industriously worked 
mines, industries of many cities, vast store of cattle and of horses, and siU that goes to 
fill the cup of national strength; Now, long deserted shores, deserts where ence the well- 
kept fences for a hundred leagues carefully divided the rich land among its proud pro- 
prietors; grass-grown mounds where rose the myriad* sounds, where flourished the 
eountlees industries of great cities, meet the traveller's eye. Why ? They destroyed the 
protecting forests ; the land parched into sterility ; the strength of the possessors faded 
in a few generations away. 

Throughout the North American continent, where winter's frost and summer^s heat, 
with fervid altemationB elsewhere unknown, try the temper of the soil, there ia every 
re&on to believe that the process of destruction, once the forests are withdrawn, will be 
more rapid and more thorough than in other lands. This has already, in Wisoomdn, Min- 
nesota, New Yorky Kentucky, and nearly all the setitled states, been a source oE de^ un- 
easiness to reflective minds. The north-western waters, it is said, have now lost hall 
their draught-power, and the whole wide-draining tributaries of the great Mississippi are 
losing their steady depth, while in ^ring and fall, those terrible inundationa we have 
lately seen carry off the waters-^then as injurious as they might have been beneficiaL 
An Ohio man, at the Cincinnati convention said, *' Let the hills be deprived of the rest of 
the protection which the forests afford, and half of the area of the State will be sterile in 
less than fifty years. The rain will wash the soil from the hill-tops first, then from the 
slopes ; the limestone, which is now covered with productive humus, loam and clay, will 
be laid bare ; the .naked rocks will reflect the rays of the sun and increase the summer 
heat, the north storms will blow unhindered over the country, and every change of the 
wind will cause an abrupt change in the temperature. The rainfall will be diminished 
and become irregular. Snow and rainwater will at once run down in the valleys and 
cause periodical freshets, which will ultimately carry away the best part of the soil, even 
from the valleya Such will be the unavoidable results of further devastation of the 
timber.'' Mr. Clay, of Kentucky, remarked at the same gaUiering : " I move in the 
sphere of experience with more certainty. I remember when the forests were hardly 
broken here that springs of water were very frequent and perennial. The rivulets and 
creeks and rivers had a perpetual flow ; Uiese have now changed. The rivulets and creeks 
are now dried up in summer, and the fish so often caught by me in earlier years are now 
gone. Not one spring in a thousand renudns." I would beg my readers to note what 
follows pavtionlarly ; it is also my own experience here. Mr. Clay goes on : — '* Indian 
com was generally planted in March, and the rains and exhalations of moisture from the 
surroundings made crops successful every year. Now, the destruction of the forest has 
lost to us that bed of leaves which was a perpetual reservoir of water for springs and for 

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eyaporatioQ j aided by the treading of the hard surface, the rainfall, if the same as of old, 
rashes off at onoe, sweeping the soil into the Mississippi delta. .The dry winds absorb 
not only the ancient humidity of the air, but drink up the subsoil evaporation. So that 
our winters are longer, more changeable, and unendurable. Gom can hardly be planted 
safely till late in April, and drought too often ruins our best efforts. Now, trees do in- 
fluence rainfall in a State like Kentucky, where the rain is not precipitated by mountain 
heights, but by the meeting of warm, moist, and cold winds. Here one neighbour has 
plenty of rain, another scarcely any. And even if the rainfall should be the same for the 
whole State, the owners of forests have reason to believe that these windbreaks are 
^vourable ta rain eddies and rain-bearing* currents of air." Prof. Sargent, of Harvard 
University, who has given perhaps as much study to this question as any one in America^ 
remarked that, '< As moderators of the extremes of heat and cold, the benefits derived 
from extensive* forests are undoubted, and that our climate is gradually changing through 
their destruction, is apparent to the most casual observer. Our springs are later, our 
summers are drier, and every year becoming more so ; our autumns are carried forward 
into winter, while our winter climate is subject to far greater changes of temperature 
than formerly. The total average of snowfall is perhaps as late as ever, but it is certainly 
less regular, and covers the ground for a shorter period than formerly. Twenty years ago 
peaches were a profitable crop in Massachusetts ; now we must depend on New Jersey and 
Delaware, and our apples now come from beyond the limits of New England. The failure 
of these and other crops in the older States is generally ascribed to the exhaustion of the 
soil, but with greater reason it can be referred to the destruction of the forests which 
sheltered us from the cold winds of the north and west, and which, keeping the soil under 
their shade, cool in summer and warm in winter, acted at once as material barriers, and 
reservoirs of moisture." 

SrATSKBin^s Collated from the Works of Distiitguishsd Writers on the 


We have now gone over the influences which connect the presence of forests with 
the climate of a country, first considered in a general, and then in a local sense. I will 
now, by way of corroborative proof, quote a number of passages from those authors who 
have made this question their special study. In Europe, where, within the last ten or 
twelve years especially the subject is creating very great interest, from the evident 
decrease in moisture and corresponding fertility, much is being done to examine into the 
evil and remove its causes. One of the first to move in the matter was a distinguished 
European gentleman of both theoretical and practical experience. Herr Gustav Wex, 
Counsellor of State and Director-in-Chief of Works undertaken for the regulation and 
flow of the Danube. He says : — 

<< Having in foregoing statements given indisputable evidence that in the five principal 
rivers of Central Europe, — ^the Danube, the Rhine, the Elbe, the Vistula and ^e Oder, 
the basins of which embrace an area of 26,860 (German) square miles, — the lowest and the 
mean annual water levels, and consequently also the quantities of water delivered by 
these rivers, during a lengthened period of many years, has been continually decreasing, 
we may from this draw the following conclusions : — 

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" 1. As the aforesaid riyers are fed mainly by the brooks and streams which flow 
into them, there must have been also in these a continued decrease in the quantity of 
water deUvered by them for a great many years, from which we may further conclude 
that if observations had been made on the leyels of the different feeders, similar to those 
which have been made on the five large rivers named, and these had been compared, they 
would have supplied results similar to those at which we have arrived concerning these. 

'* The correctness of this allegation receives confirmation from the fact that many 
manufactories, etc., which have been built during the last fifty years, on rivulets and 
streams, have experienced a marked diminution in the quantity of water coming through 
thdr water-leadings, and it has been found necessary to employ steam-engines to meet 
the deficiency of their water-power, which was originally sufficient for the work they had 
to do. 

** 2. As it is possible that the causes which have produced the effect of the lowering 
of the water level, and diminution of the quantity of water delivered in these five 
river basins, operate equally in the basins of the other rivers and streams in Europe, and 
not only so but in the most populous and cultivated districts of the other three quarters 
of the globe — ^it may be assumed that in most of the streams and rivers on the surface of 
the earth, a similar lowering in the lowest and mean levels of the body of water delivered 
by them has taken place ; while the high floods in the same, reaching a higher point, and 
becoming of more frequency, discharge a greater quantity of water, and produce more 
extensive devastating inundations than previously was the case. 

'* 3. If the causes which*have operated in producing the decrease in the usual water 
flow of the streams and rivers, with the rapid overflowing of them in times of flood, in 
the course of the last 140 years, were to continue to operate also in the future, it is 
evident from what has taken place that in brooks, and streams, and rivers, the lowest ' 
and the mean level of these may be expected to be lowered still further in the future. 
And the question forces itself upon every one involuntarily to what degree may this 
diminution in the quantity of water thus delivered by the several streams and rivers be 

*< A consideration of the three rivers — Weser, Elbe, and Oder — makes clearly mani- 
fest a reduction in the quantity of water delivered by them, and a silting up of the river- 
bed with sand. It has been calculated that if the Elbe continue to diminish in the future 
at the same rate at which it has been diminishing up to this time, it will soon be impossibe 
for heavily laden ships to pass by it. Nor is it otherwise with the Oder ; in the very 
dry year 1858, there were only eleven days in which the navigation of the Oder in Silesia 
could be carried on with full force. The Weser delivers the smallest body of water of the 
threa One principal reason for this is the destruction of forests which has taken place 
on the heights which are found alongside of the river, and which the Government have 
latterly taken steps to prevent ; but still more than what has resulted from the destruc- 
tion of forests has been the consequence of the rectifications of the river-bed, which it has 
become a general practice to carry out. 

" After weighing fully the collected observations on the water level, and consequences 
deduced from them in the foregoing treatise, I think no Hydrotechnik will venture to 
call in question the correctness of the allegations advanced by the distinguished hydro- 
grapher Dr. Berghaus, in the year 1835, which allegations have been confirmed and 
established by myself, that in the brooks, streams, and rivers in Central Europe, within 
the period of observations, extending over about 140 years, high floods now appear and 
attain a greater height ; on the contrary, the lowest, and the mean levels of the rivers are 
falling, and consequently the delivery of the water by these streams and rivers is being 
continuously diminished to a very great degree." 

There follows an expression of the views of the author on the great practical importance 
of the fact brought to light. In the second chapter he describes the reduction observed 
in the flow of springs and in the quantity of water yielded by them, and after citing 
numerous facts, illustrative of these points, he thus concludes : — 

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** In regard to thd dimiiuahing of Bubtenrcoiieaii ^at<srs» we owi addace the faUowing I 
evidence : — I 

'^ As we luive in the preceding chapter shown, from obaervatians on the water leyel | 
continued through long aeries of yean^ that there has been seen in later decades a lower- 
ing o{ the level of the lowest and of the mean annual flows, while the high floods conse- 
quent on storms of rain, have become of more frequent oocunrenoe — ^from which it comes 
to pass that a greater quantity of water is thus carried away at such times than formerly 
— it follows as a consequence that if the quantity of the ridnfall remains the aaDie, the 
proportion of this flowing away on the surface of the earth in such circumstancea has 
increased. On the other hand the proportion sinking below the surface must be leas ; 
and from this it comes to pass that t^e quantity of the subterranean water supply, the 
drainage and superficial waters, and with them the springs which are fed by them must 
have been reduced ; and the correctness of this conclusion can be established by the fol- 
lowing facts : — 

" From these long continued observations on river. levelB we have further prov^ 
that on brooks, streams, and rivers, in these later times, the lowest and riMon levels^ and 
also the quantity of water delivered, have been being continuously reduced, and that to a 
marked degree ; and that in the vei^y months during which the water courses have been 
{ed almost exclusively from subterranean flows of water and from l»prings the diminution 
of the water delivered had been greatest Whence it may with all justice be concluded 
that in these later times the water supplies in subterranean reservoirs and the water 
bearing strata have decreased, and also that drainage waters and the springs in a river 
basin in their collective contributbns now furnish smaller water supplies to the feeding 
of the iriver course than was the case at an earlier period." 

Herr Wez goes on to say : — '* I consider that I have satisfactorily proved, by the 
foregoing observations, deductions, and examples, that in recent times the supply of 
water in subterranean reservoirs, and in the water-bearing strata of the earth, is being 
diminished ; further, that many of the drains and springs of to-day have become some 
quite dry, and others yield a coipaparatively small supply of water ; and finally, that 
through these changes the lowest and the mean water-levels in brooks, streams, and rivera 
are being continuously lowered, and the quantities of water delivered by them continu- 
ously diminished. 

" If this continuous diminution, which has been going on for the last 140 years, is 
to go on continuously still, then will these results and changes on the surface of the earth 
entail on coming generations evils, and evils of incalculable extent and magnitude. 
Through the lowering of the level, and reduction of the rivers and of the subterranean 
drainage, and also through the alternation of very wet and very dry years, — such as is 
shown by the diagram referred to, to be prevailing, — will the fertility and productiveness 
of the land be reduced in no inconsiderable degree, and not a few lands now covered with 
luxuriant vegetation will become veritable deserts, cheerless and desolate. 

" After the drying up of many brooks and streams, and after the conversion of 
streams and rivers into torrents, in consequence of these changes, men would have to go 
for their water supplies for drinking and for domestic use, and for other purposes, either to 
the deeper-lying water-bearing strata of the earth, or to a greater distance &om their 
dwelling ; whereby the cost of the water consumed would be increased, while many 
industrial establishments and manufactories would be deprived altogether of the supply 
of water indispensably necessary to their operations, and would have either to adopt 
expensive means of providing a substitute for what has been lost, or remove to some 
remote district where brooks and rivers have not as yet been deprived of their water 

'* Finally, by the continuous diminution of water in streams and rivers, the former 
would become quite dry l^rough the greater part of the year, and the latter would become 

" As, through the consideration of what has been advanced, it may thus be seen 
that, through the continuous diminution and lowering of the flowing water on the surface 
of the earth, there is imperilled — and that to a great extent — ^not only the prosperity and' 
the health, but also the existence of future generations, it is desirable tiiat numerous 

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students o£ physical science shooed be incited to further research into the cause of these 
intimately connected phenomena, and then to devise measures to avert the impending 
calamity, in so far as it may be within the scope of man's power to do so." 

The author adds : — " I have given myself also to an attempt to a solution of this 
difficult problem, and I give the results of my researches in this study in the two follow- 
ing chapters, in the hope that distinguished collaborcUeurs in the same calling, and men 
of scientific attainments may prosecuto further the researches I have been privileged to 
commence, and that the results of their study may bring great good to the generations 
yet unborn. 

The chapter which follows is occupied with a discussion of the cause or occasion of a 
diminution having taken place in the quantity of water flowing in streams and rivers, 
which he thus concludes : — 

'* When we fully realise what is implied in the opinions expressed by men of science, 
and practical men expert in such matters, in various countries, and in very different parts 
of the world) after long experience, observation and research, we find that forests effect 
to a very great extent the quantities of water coming from springs and flowing in livers ; 
that they affect the dimate ; and that they have a good effect upon the fertility of the 
lands in which they exist ; and that thus : — 

" 1. The deposit of rain from the atmosphere is g^reatly increased by the amount of 
woods in a district, inasmuch as mists and clouds passing along the surface, striking 
upon the forests, have the moisti^re of which they are formed condensc4 and precipitated 
as rain. Further the temperature within the woods is cooler by day, and, on the con- 
trary, warmer by night than it is in the open fields and meadows ; and by reason of this^ 
there is a continual circulation of air in the vicinity of forests whereby mists and douda 
are precipitated and led to discharge themselves of their contents. This happens not 
through the forests in and for themselves, nor as a consequence of the forests of them- 
selves, but through the difference between the forests and the open fields ; and on thi& 
depends the abundance of the rain. It is also very manifest that the forests exercise an 
attractive influence upon the clouds, by their attracting from them electricity with which 
they are charged, and with this the water of Which they are composed, increasing 
thereby the rainfall. It is also an ascertained fact that a great part of the water precipi- 
tated as rain remains on the leaves of the trees, one part of which falls to the ground, 
but another portion of which evaporates into the atmosphere, and is again precipitated as> 
fog, mist, dew, or rain, — whence it comes to pass that rain water is kept longer within 
forest lands, and may be precipitated oftener than once, whereby the rainfall ia 

'' 2. Through the abundii,nce of forests will thecopiousness of the subterranean drainage* 
flow, and springs be increased, while the rainwater retained by the foliage of the forest 
trees, falling slowly to the earth, is kept by the spongy character of the ground in woods, 
from flowing quickly away, and is in part absorbed, or is left to permeate the mineral 
strata, which is considerably facilitated by the numerous spreading roots of the treea 
penetrating cracks, fisures, and canals in the superficial ground, by which mea^ the 
rainwater reaches a greater depth, and this in a much greater quantity in forest ground 
than in the open field. Further, by numerous experiments, it has been established that 
the evaporation of the humidity in the open country is at least from four or five times aa 
great as it is in woodlands ; from all which it appears that the moisture absorbed in forests 
is not so readily evaporated, but it is retained and directed to the feeding of drainages, 
spring?, ajid brooklets, 

'* 3. If forests be uprooted, more especially in mountainous regions, or even in 
somewhat hilly country, the raindrops, falling upon the exposed ground with some force, 
tear it up, and then, flowing down the declivity with considerable rapidity carry with 
them earth and stones towards the brooks, and streams, and rivers, by which these water 
courses are suddenly filled up, and experience much higher and more devasting overflow- 
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ings and inundations, than was the case while the woods stood, as is explicitly testified 
by the aforementioned tabulated observations of river levels. 

" 4. Through the extensive clearing away of forests the heat of the summer months 
and the desiccation of the ground becomes increased, then, as a consequence of this, the 
duration of droughts is prolonged, and from this there follows naturally a diminished 
productiveness of the land. , 

''These most disastrous effects of the clearing away of forest show themselves in a 
very marked degree in these countries, once blessed with a luxurant vegetation, Palestine, 
Persia, Greece, Sicily, Spain, and the Canary Islaiids." 

Mr. Marsh in his treatise on " The Earth as Modified by Human Action," in writ- 
ing of the influence of forests on the flow of springs, says : — " It is an almost universal 
and, I believe, well-founded opinion, that the protection afforded by the forest against 
the escape of moisture from its soil by superficial flow and evaporation insures the per- 
manence and regularity 6f natural springs, not only within the limits of the woods, but 
at some distance beyond its borders, and thus contributes to the supply of an element 
essential to both animal and vegetable life. As the forests are destroyed, the springs 
which flowed from the woods, and, consequently, the greater water-courses fed by them, 
diminish both in number and volume. This fact is so familiar in the American States 
and the British Provinces, that there are few old residents of the interior of those dis- 
tricts who are not able to testify to its truth as a matter of personal observation. My 
own recollection suggests to me many instances of this sort, and I remember one case 
where a small mountain spring, which disappeared soon after the clearing of the ground 
where it rose, was recovered about twenty years ago, by simply allowing the bushes and 
young trees to grow up on a rocky knoU, not more than half an acre in extent, immedi- 
ately above the spring. The ground was hardly shaded before the water reappeared, and 
it has ever since continued to flow without interruption. The hills in the Atlantic States 
formerly abounded in springs and brooks, but in many p8u:i» of these States which were 
cleared a generation or two ago, the hill-pastures now suffer severely from drought, and 
in dry seasons furnish to cattle neither grass nor water." 

Efvects of Forests akd of the Dbstbugtion of these on Rivers, akd Streams, 


*< It is a somewhat prevalent opinion that as rain proceeds from the clouds, rivers 
have their primary source in springs ; and along with this opinion it is. held by many, 
that the primary function of rivers is to carry moisture to lands which otherwise would 
be barren, and there to diffuse fertility. But, in point of fact, no water springs from the 
ground which has not previously been deposited from the atmosphere ; and the primary 
function of streams, brooklets, and rivers, is simply to carry off surplus moisture in excess 
of what the soil can retain. 

" As rain is produced by the gravitation to the earth of surplus moisture in the 
atmosphere in excess of what the air can contain suspended in a state of invisible vapour 
at the temperature to which it has been reduced, rivers are produced by the gravitation 
to a lower level of the surplus water so precipitated in excess of what is absorbed by the 
earth or evaporated again into the atmosphere. 

" The popular phraseology in regard to many things is far from being in exact accord- 
ance with scientific conceptions. We speak of catching cold, of the rising sun, and of the 
new moon. And so we speak of the little spring of water at the greatest distance on the 
highest elevation from the mouth of a river as its source ; but no one supposes that the 
whole of the waters of the river come from this. It may be that there is not an inch of 
its course, or of the courses of its numerous tributaries and affluents, which does not pass 
many of its sources, channels of capillary dimensions, through which, from time to time, 
such excess of rainfall has drained off, or may drain ofl, into its bed, by which the 
accumulated drainings are drained off into the sea, if they be not absorbed or evaporated 
by the way. 

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"It is under this aspect of springs, and streamlets, and rivers, we should look at 
them while considering the local effect upon them of forests, or of the destruction of 

Mr. Marsh says : — *' With the extirpation of the forest, all is changed. At one 
season the earth parts with its warmth hj radiation to an open skj ; receives, at another, 
an immoderate heat from the unobstructed rays of the sun. Hence the climate becomes 
excessive, and the soil is alternately parched by the fervours of summer, and seared by 
the rigours of winter. Bleak winds sweep unresisted over its surface, drift away the 
snow tiiat sheltered it from the frost, and dry up its scanty moisture. The precipitation 
becomes as irregular as the temperature ; the melting snows and varied rains, no longer 
absorbed by a loose and bibular vegetable mould, rufiii over the frozen surface, and pour 
down the valleys seawards, instead of filling a retentive bed of absorbent earth, and stor- 
ing up a supply of moisture to feed perennial springs. The soil is bared of its covering 
of leaves, broken and loosened by the plough, deprived of the fibrous rootlets which held 
it together, dried and pulverized by sun and wind, and at last exhausted by new combina- 
tiona The face of the earth is no longer a sponge, but a dry heap ; and the floods 
which the waters of the sky poured over it hurry si^ftly along its slopes, carrying in sus- 
pension vast quantities of earthy particles, which increase the abrading power and me- 
chanical force of the current^ and augmented by the sand and gravel of falling banks, fill 
the beds of the streams, divert them into new channels, and obstruct their outlets. The 
rivulets, wanting their former regularity of supply, and deprived of the protecting shade 
of the woods, are heated, evaporated, and thus reduced in their former currents, but 
swollen to raging torrents in autumn and spring. 

" From these causes there is a constant degradation of uplands, and a consequent 
elevation of the beds of wtiter-courses, and of lakes, by the deposition of the mineral and 
vegetable matter carried down by the waters. The channels of great rivers become un- 
navigable, their estuaries are choked up, and harbours which once sheltered large navies 
are Coaled by dangerous sand-bars. 

'' The earth, stript of its vegetable glebe, grows less and less productive, and, con- 
sequently, less able to protect itself by weaving a new net-work of roots to bind its par- 
ticles together, a new carpeting of turf to shield it from wind, and sun, and scouring rain. 
Gradually, it becomes altogether barren. The washing of the soil from the mountains 
leaves bare ridges of sterile rock, and the rich, organic mould which covered them, now 
swept down into the low dank grounds, promotes a luxuriance of aquatic vegetation that 
breeds fever and more insidious forms of mortal disease by its decay, and thus the earth 
is rendered no longer fit for the habitation of man." 

Mr. Marsh also states in regard to a forest : — " By its interposition, as a curtain 
between the sky and the ground, it both checks the evaporation from the earth, and me- 
chanically intercepts a certain portion of the dew and lighter showers, which would other- 
wise moisten the surface of the soil, and restores it to the atmosphere by exhalation. 
While in heavier rains the lai^ drops which fall upon the leaves and branches are broken 
into smaller ones, and, consequently, strike the ground with less mechanical force, or 
are, perhaps, even dispersed into vapour without reaching it. 

** The vegetable mould, resulting from the decomposition of leaves and of wood, 
seems as a; perpetual mulch to forest soil by carpeting the ground with a spongy covering 
which obstructs the evaporation from the mineral earth below, drinks up the rains and 
melting snows that would otherwise flow rapidly over the surface, and perhaps be con- 
veyed to the distant sea, and then slowly give out by evaporation, infiltration, and perco- 
lation, the moisture thus imbibed. The roots, too, penetrate far below the superficial 
soil, conduct water along their surface to the lower depths to which they reach, and then 
by partially draining the superior strata, remove a certain quantity of moisture out of 
the reach of evaporation. 

"The meteorological effects produced thus by forests resolve themselves into the 
prolongation and consequent increase of the evaporation of water falling in the forms of 
rain, snow and hail, effected in two distinct operations ; first, the absorption and renten- 

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tion of a large portion of the rainfall, and second, the retardation of the flow of the re- 
mainder towards the great reservoir aild sotirce Of all, i^ accordance with the observation 
of the Hebrew preacher, ' All the rivers run into the sea ; yet the sea is not full ; for 
unto the place &om whence the rivers come thither they return again.' " 

Tliere is another operation, noticed by Becquerel, to which sufficient importance has 
not, until very recently, been generally ascribed, namely, the mechanical action of roots 
as conductors of the superfluous humidity of the superficial earth to lower strata. " The 
roots of trees," says he, " often penetrate through subsoil almost impervious to water, 
and in such cases the moisture, which would otherwise remain above l^e subsoil, and 
convert the surface earth into a bog, follows the root downwards, and escapes into more 
porous strata, or is received by subterranean canals or reservoirs. When the forest is 
felled the roots perish and decay, the orifloes opened by them are soon obstructed, and 
the water, after having saturated the vegetable earth, stagnates on the surface and trans- 
forms it into ponds and morasses, l^us, in La Brenne, a tract of 200,000 acres, resting 
oh an impermeable subsoil of argillaceous earth, which ten centuries ago was covered 
with forests, interspersed with fertile and salubrious meadows, has been converted by the 
destruction of the woods into a vast expanse of pestilential pools and marshes. In Sologne 
the same cause has withdrawn from cultivation and human habitation not less than 
1,100,000 acres of ground, once well-wooded, well-drained and productive." 

From the Report op John Editik Brown, Esq., Conservator of Forests, to the 
Parliament of South Australia; — 

Thai large bodies of trees have a direct influence on the atmospheric enangeo ot a 
district or counlry is, I think, in these days of so much statistical and other reliable in- 
formation, now a recognized fact. If we look back and examine ancient, mediaeval, and 
modern history, we there find many ^ery noted examples of decrease of rains, dried up 
rivers, extended deserts anc! depleted populations, simply from the clearing of extensive 
forests ; while again, on the other hand, it has been observed that where large tracts of 
countiy have been laid onder a crop of trees, and which previous to this haviuig been 
done were designated dry and comparatively unproductive parts, small streams of water 
have been found where none formerly existed, and the general nature of the districts 
has been improved co such an extent that they have become highly favourable for agri- 
cultural purposes, and hence more able to sustain an increased population." 

1. *^ Trees give Shelter: — In the agricultural parts of this colony, especially in the 
northern areas, where extensive tracts of most excellent country are open to every blast 
of wind that blows, it is self-evident that the planting of belts of trees in different direc- 
tions through them would have a most beneficial influence on the crops which are pro- 
duced upon the ground. The direct results of such belts would be that the hot winds, 
which at present are the very scourge of the country so far as their effects u^^on vegeta- 
tion are concerned, would, if they were not in time subdued altogether, be at all events 
considerably softened by coming in contact with the cooler atmosphere arising from the 
damper surface of the ground shaded by trees, and therefore pass harmlessly over the 
country ; ani thus the crops would not only be more certain, but would grow more luxu- 
riantly, and consequently the yield would be proportionately larger. Again, another 
important result which would arise to the agricultural community from the planting of 
trees on the plains would be, that shelter would be given to stock, both from the hot 
winds of summer, and the storms and cold blasts of winter." 

2. " Forests Prevent Evaporation : — It is, perhaps, almost superfluous to remark that 
very great evaporations take place all over the colony at all seasons of the year, from the 
thoroughly exposfed character of the country genemlly to the full power of the sun's 
ray& In consequence of this, what rain faUs Upon the ground is, almost as soon as it 
reaches the ground, again taken up into the air by evaporation, without being retained 
in the soil for the use of the crops growing upon it. Even on those parts of the country 
which are under indigenous forests, from the scattered and generally sparse crop of trees 
constituting these, together with the peculiarly characteristic feature of the Australian 
tlrees, affording but little shade to the ground — owing to upright habit of the foliage — 

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evapotation goes on in a veiy rapid manner. It is chiefly to these causes alone that I 
attribate the fact of their being so few never-fkiling creeks and rivers in this colony. 
Now, were there judictonslj laid out plant-ations all oi^er the country, and the frees con- 
stituting these being at such distances apart^ and of such kinds as would effectually shsule 
the ground from the mm and pr«yent evaporation to a certain ext«ent in these parts, or at 
least in a much slower manner than is done at present, the rain would have time and op- 
portunity io be absorbed into the ground, and by percolating to considerable depths, 
come out again at a lower level, and thus cause streams of water where none exist at 
present, and so on from pkce to place, keeping up a general degree of humidity to refresh 
and encourage the growth of vegetation. 

3. <' Forests ham a Tendon^ to £qwUizs Bain/aU : — In this colony, the climate of 
which is considered very dry, nearly as much rain falls within the twelve months as 
there falls within the same period in some countries which are nearly humid ones. In 
moist oUmates we find that on nearly three-fourths of the days of the year, rain falls more 
or leas. In this country, again, there are at least three-fourths of the twelve months 
which are entirely cloudless. And still the rainfall in both instances is not in like man- 
ner disproportionate so far as the total amounts for the year are concerned. These 
appear somewhat contradictory statements, but yet they are approximately correct for 
many oases which could be cited. The reason of the difference is not that the one country 
lies perhaps in the northern hemisphere, and the other in the southern, or that the one 
may be fifteen deg.^ees nearer the equator than the other. No ; the grand secret is that 
the cou n tr y which has its rainfall spread over the whole year is thickly covered with 
trees^ while in the case of our own colony there is a very small proportion of its area 
occupied by forests. In two or three hours in this country as much rain will fall as 
would ooeupy two days steady drizzling in Great Britain. 

i. ^'For48t$ Attract Bcnncloude: — That this is the case is now a very well ascertained 
fact. I do not, however, hold myself to the opinion of some writers that the trees them- 
ssives abstract the rain, but rather that the results flowing from a large body of trees ^ave 
this tendency. To put the matter in a scientific form we find (1) from thb shade given 
by the trees the temperature of the earth is lowered ; (2) the atmosphere hovering im- 
mediately above the trees is in consequence lower than that in part of the counti^ ac^oin- 
ing which may be clear of v^etation ; consequently it follows (3) that if hot clouds flow 
over a plantation they will be cooled down and their moisture condensed upon coming in 
contact with the cold, humid atmosphere hanging about the trees, and as their power 6f 
holding water in a*condition of vapour is sensibly diminished in a certain ratio according 
to the fall of temperature, the result is a deposit on the ground of either rain, mist or 
dew; and again, (4) clouds containing vapour, which have blown over dry ground 
heated by the sun, where the air is in consequence highly rarefied and warmer than the 
clouds, these dissolve themselves and vanish ; but should these clouds come in contact 
with the cooler air above masses of trees, they become overcharged with moisture, and 
rain is the result. 

6. " Forests Subdue Aridity : — We have seen that the planting of large bodies of trees 
has the indirect influence of attracting rainclouds to the sites occupied by them, and that 
the atmosphere generally about woodlands is in a continual state of moisture by trans- 
piration from the pores of the leaves, and by a certain amount of evaporation from the 
ground by the heat of the sun. From this, then, it will at once be seen that by planting 
arid tracts of land with properly proportioned belts of timber here and there through 
them, the result is (1) lower temperature ; ^2) arrest of hot winds ; (3) shelter ; (4) more 
frequent rains ; and (5) a more humid chmate generally, thus making such tracts of 
country suitable for agricultural purposes. 

6. " Forests make Climate more Humid : — This is a result and contiguous part of the 
whole system of the different influences of trees upon climate which have already been 
explained. Water is sucked up from the soil by the roots of the trees, and is eidiuded 
again in the form of vapour from the stomates on the back of the leaves j this rises into 
the air and forms itself into clouds, and« if not deposited again on the ground as rain by 
some counter-balancing atmospheric influence, is wafted across the country, cooling the 
air and keeping up a supply of heavy dews which refresh and invigorate vegetable life. 

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While again, the humidity of the climate is maintained from the simple fact that the 
green, moist foliage of the trees constituting the forests has the well-known tendency of 
preventing the increase of the sun's rays by radiation, and thus reducing the chances of 

^' The Count de Gasparin has found that soils covered with low vegetation or with 
woods, and in which the soil is composed of humus, mingled with sand and lime or clay, 
absorb more water than those which contain no humus, and consequently retain it longer 
than the latter. Theser effects vary, according to the proportions of the various elements 
of which the soils are composed. The infiltrations are greater in wooded lands than in 
those covered with sod. The roots penetrate deeper, and thus facilitate the passage of 
waters, which would be only stopped by an impervious stratum. 

*' The branches of trees in leaf not only oppose the evaporation of the water in the 
soil, but the leaves themselves are constantly yielding a vapour from exhalation, and 
which tends to reduce the evaporation of waters, so far as the moisture exhaled goes to 
saturate the air, the infiltration at the same time going on into the soil. Herbaceous 
plants, not in masses, do not produce similar effects ; in fact, whoever has been in places 
partly wooded and partly sodded must have observed, after a rain and a rest of some 
duration, that the sodded grounds were dry, while the wooded soil was always damp. 

'< We will now speak of the water absorbed by the roots, and that which is exhaled 
into the atmosphere. 

*^ The roots of trees, as shown by the experiments of Hales and others, absorb a 
large amount of water, charged with various elements constituting the sap. The surplus 
water is evaporated from the leaves, which are constantly surrounded by a humid atmos- 
phere. The water thus evaporated is drawn, not only from the upper strata, but likewise 
from the deeper layers of the soil into which the roots penetrate, and which supply little 
or no water to herbaceous vegetation. These lower strata are fed by subterranean sheets 
of water that often come from a distance. Furthermore, this water remaining in these 
lower strata, being thus given to the atmosphere, fall again as fog, dew or rain, and thas 
increase the quantity of water that the sur&u^e of the soU receives from some distance 

'' The amount of water absorbed by the roots is so great that it is practically difficult 
to make much of it remain near the trees, several reasons for preventing it occurring. The 
soil in contact with the roots, and for a little distance away, is in a certain state of desic- 
cation ; little by little it loses its nutritive properties, the lime, etc., and when these 
elements are gone, the soil contains little but sand and clay, which then becomes perme- 
able. It is, therefore, well demonstrated — 

'^(1.) That a difference exists between the evaporation from a naked soil and a soil 
covered with sod. 

'< (2.) That there is a like difference between a soil covered with sod and one that is 
wooded, with the further advantage of the latter in facilitating the infiltration of water. 

'^(3.) That the amount of water absorbed by the roots does not produce drought in 
the soil, since it is returned after evaporation in the condition of fog, dew or rain. The 
drought does not take place till the soil is exhausted." 

The thermal influence of forests has been established by Humboldt as follows : — 
'^ They shelter the ground against the sun's rays, they maintain it in a greater degree of 
humidity, and facilitate the decomposition of the leaves and litter, which they change into 
humus ; and they act as a cooling cause by producing active aqueous transpiration from 
the leaves and by multiplying in the expansion of their branches, the surfaces warmed by 
the solar heat, and the surfaces cooled by nocturnal radiation. In regard to the actioiL 
last mentioned, positive experiments show that the layer of atmosphere in contact with a 
meadow or a field covered with herbage or vegetable leaves, becomes cooled by nocturnal 
radiation, other things being equal, several degrees below the temperature of the atmos- 
phere at some meters above, while nothing of this kind takes place over a naked soil, 
which becomes warm or cool according to the nature of its component parts. We will 
add, as we have demonstrated, that the leaves as well as the trunk and branches become 
warmed by solar heat, and retain into the night a portion of this acquired heat. This 
effect should counterbalance the cooling from nocturnal radiation. We have not thus far- 

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taken account of the fact that the warming of the trees by the sun has a considerable 
effect upon the temperature of the atmosphere outside the woods as well as within them.'' 

Ikfluence of AYoodlaxds upon Springs, Rivers, and Streams, and in Causing, 


Professor Hough says : — " It is a matter of common remark that our streams 
diminish as the woodlands are cleared away, so as to materially injure the manufacturing 
interests depending upon hydraulic power, and to* require new sources of supply for our 
State canals and for the use of cities and large towns. Many streams once navigable are 
now entirely worthless for this use, 

** The mode in which this influence operates will be readily understood when we con- 
sider the effect of forests upon the humidity and temperature of the air. 

*' A deciduous tree during the season when in foliage is constantly drawing from the 
earth and giving off from its leaves a considerable amount of moisture, and in some cases 
this amount is very great. This change of state from a fluid to a gaseous condition is a 
cooling process, and the air near the surface, being screened from the sun and from the 
winds, becomes by this means so humid that a rank, succulent vegetation springs up and 
thrives, which in an open field would wither and perish in an hour. The air being thus 
charged with moisture and cooled, does not take up by evaporation the rains which fall, 
and the soil being more open readily allows the water from melting snows and from 
showers to sink into the earth, from whence a portion appears in springs and in the 
swamps, which give rise to rills and streams. 

" The air at all times holds mora or less watery vapour in suspension, and its capa- 
city for doing so is increased as the temperature is raised, not by a steadily gaining rate, 
but more rapidly as the heat is increased. There can be no evaporation when the air is 
saturated with moisture, and no deposit of water in any form until the temperature is 
reduced to the point of saturation. It is not yet determined as to how far the cooling and 
moistening influence of a grove may extend. It must depend upon many circumstances, 
and especially upon the slope of the surface and the direction of the winds. The effect is 
often apparent to the eye from the freshness of the herbage in adjacent fields for many 
rods in width." 

He also says : — ^' Woodlands are well adapted to hinder the waters from running off 
and to favour their passage into the soil. This they do with better effect when they aro 
moro densely covered. It is, moreover, certain that the leaves of trees pump up and 
absorb a large amount of water, and although the soil on which they grow is uncultivated, 
it is much more susceptible of absorption of rains than bare and uncultivated land 

'' Forests contribute so effectually to the detention and preservation of the waters, 
that springs in some countries flowing through the year have entirely disappeared after 
the woods had been burned, nor did they reappear until after the verdure had l^een 
restored, their existence being closely dependent upon its presence." 

I will give a quotation on a very important subject, the amount of moisture evapo- 
rated by leaves of trees : — 

'^ The leaves of plants impart by evaporation during the growing season a certain 
amount of watery vapour to the air. The amount of this evaporation differs, not only in 
the different kinds of plants, but it also depends in the same plants upon external 
conditions — the temperature of the air, the intensity of light, and on the amount of 
moisturo in the air and in the soil. The greater the warmth of the air, the more intense 
the solar light, the drier the air, and the moister the soil, by so much more will plants 
give off moisture from their leaves, the transpiration under these conditions being more 
active. In this respect light affects plants to such a degree that even passing clouds will 
lessen the evaporation. The result of all the observations thus far has been to show that 
under like circumstances the transpiration is greatest in the direct light of the sun ; that 
is, less in common daylight, still less in the shade, and least in the night. Eisler found 

• 4 Digitized by LriOOQlC 


hy his investigations that in the laoeme the amount of water evaporated in the sun is 
-four times greater than it is in the shade. The difference of evaporation in the two con- 
•ditiona is with this plant considerably greater than with com. In some plants, as in the 
willow, it is, however, very slight Tius is no doubt the reason why some plants will 
thrive better in the shade than others. Transpiration is also diminished by a fall of 
temperature and an increase in the humidity of the atmosphere. With the decrease of 
warmth and the lessened influence of light, the transpiration of plants becomes less in 
Autumn, and finally stops entirely, causing the falling of the leaves. The evaporation 
of the'leaves is very slight in a damp or foggy atmosphere, and when the leaves are wet 
hj dew or rain. In the damp air of our hot-houses, and under glass vases, often placed 
over weakly plants, the amount of evaporation is very slight It is correspondingly 
lessened in the shade of trees in the cool and damp air of dense forests and under arti- 
£cial coverings. 

<* In order that the leaves of plants may remain fresh and plump, as much water 
must be talcon up by the small fibres of the roots as is lost by transpiration. A constant 
•circulation of water is going on from the roots through the trunk to the branches, and 
through these and the stems into the leaves. The plants remain in a normal condition 
whenever the supply of water by the roots and loss by evaporation correspond. Under 
«ome circumstance it will occur that the supply of water received through the root is 
^eater than the loss through the leaves, or that the loss is greater than the supply. 
Instances of the former case are presented in the plant which during the night evaporates 
less water than it receives from the ground through' the roots. The surplus is deposited 
on the leaves in small drops, which, upon examination, may be found early in the morning 
•even in the hot-houses, which precludes the idea that they are gatherings of dew. Another 
instance is shown in our deciduous trees in autumn after the fall of the leaves, when, 
from a relatively warm soil the roots maintain their activity, and continue to receive 
moisture from the soil, which will remain in the body of the tree, as the organs of evap- 
oration are gone. This explains the reason why there is a greater amount of water in the 
body of the tree in autumn than there is in summer. It is of tener the case, however, that 
the amount of water lost is greater than that received, which occasions in herbage and 
young plants a withering of the leaves.' Larger trees are not materially affected by this 
interruption, as the body of the tree acts as a reservoir of water, from which the trees are 
supplied for some time. The withering and drying up of plants is not always the result 
of an insufficient amount of moisture in the soil, but it may occur when, in consequence 
of a lack of activity in the roots the absorption of water from soil is not proportioned to 
the loss by transpiration." 

Here is a word from California. The Nevada Enterprise says : — '* It will be but a 
-very short time before we shall be able to observe the effect that stripping the fine forests 
-from the sides and summit of the Sierras will have on> the climate of this State and Call- 
iornia. In a very few years every accessible tree, even to such as are only of value as 
firewood, will be swept from the mountains. Even now this has been done in some 
places. It is to be hoped that a new growth of pines or timber trees of some kind may 
«pring up on the ground that has been cleared, but we do not hear that any such growth 
has yet started. 

<< Already one great change has occurred that is evident to the most ordinary observer, 
^hich is the speedy melting away of the snow on the mountains. It now goes off at once, 
in a flood, with the first warm weather of spring, whereas formerly, lying shaded and 
protected by the pines and other evergreen trees, it melted slowly, and all summer sent 
•down to the valleys on both the eastern and western slopes of the Sierras constant and 
•copious streams of water. Instead of a good stage of water in our streams throughout 
summer, as in former times, there is a flood in the spring, and when this is passed by our 
rivers speedily run down, and being no longer fed from the mountains, evaporation leaves 
their beds almost dry when the hot weather of summer comes on. 

<<The mountains being stripped of their trees, there wUl be nothing to shade the 
rocks and earth, and both will abisorb a sufficient amount of heat from the rays of the sun 
during the fall, and even until far into the winter, to melt any light snow that may occur. 

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The result will be that our autamn weather will reach farther into winter, until at last 
we shall have no winter worthy of the name. On the California side of the mountains 
the effect will be much the same. The hot weather of the valleys will extend over the 
foot-hills and gradually reach up into the mountains." 

The desolation of mountain regions by the clearing of forests and by pasturage of 
flocks is also strikingly illustrated in the Pyrenees. This region in the last century was 
almost entirely out of account in the agricultural and commercial reports of France. The 
slopes were timbered with forests of great extent, which, from wants of markets and ways 
for transportation, remained unproductive and to some extent unknown. On the top, 
where forest vegetation ceased, sufficient herbage was found for the pasturage of flocks in 
summer. The plains were poorly cultivated and inundations were much less frequent and 
less destructive than now-a-days. As roads came to be opened the profit from sheep and 
cattle became greater, and the clearing of forests was begun to make room for pasturage, 
and to some extent for timber, until by degrees the slopes of the mountains were denuded, 
and the rains having nothing to hinder began to form eroding torrentfit, the south slopes 
suffering moirt because first cleared and directly exposed to the sun's heat. The extremes 
of flood and drought became excessive, and extensive tracts have been ruined for present 
occupation from this source. 

The Island of St Helena, the well-known scene of Napoleon's banishment, furnishes 
a remarkable illustration of the connection that exists between forests and rainfall. When 
first discovered in 1502 it had heavy forests. The introduction of goats and other causes 
destroyed these woodlands until the island was almost denuded. The consequences were 
that in the records of the last century we find accounts of repeated and almost periodical 
visitations of very severe drought, occasioning various losses to cattle and crop efforts. 
Toward the end of the last century, however, the governor saw the need of strenuous efforts, 
gardeners were sent for, and trees from all parts of the world were planted, without 
regard to their character. The "Pinas Pinaster" was sown very extensively, and several 
plantations of this still exist The consequences of this were discovered a few years since 
as follows : — '^For many years past, since the general growth of our trees, we have been 
preserved from the scourge, and droughts such as were formerly recorded are now 
altogether unknown. We have no means, however, of otherwise comparing the rainfall 
of the two periods, as no tables or even estimates of the rainfall can be had for the 
earlier dates. Our fall of rain now is equal to that of England, and is spread almost 
evenly over the year. The showers fall more heavily in two or three months of the year. 
But this period, though called on this account the rainy season, is in no way to be com- 
j)ared to what is understood by an inter-tropical rainy season." 

The Island of Ascension furnishes another remarkable instance. This island, some 
•seven and a-half miles long and six wide, was entirely barren when first occupied in 1815, 
and so destitute of water that supplies were brought from England and the Cape of Good 
Hope. Means have since been taken to plant trees and introduce agriculture on the 
island, though not to any great extent, the effect has been most remarkable. The island 
grows forty kinds of trees, where but one tree grew in 1843, owing to want of water. The 
water supply is excellent, and the garrison and sliips visiting the island are supplied in 
abundance with vegetables of various kinds. 

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52 . 

In Ceylon the planting of tea and coffee a tew years since became an object of active 
and to some extent speculative enterprise, the soil and climate being alike adapted to 
both and with more profit to any other v^etable products previously grown. This led to 
the extensive cutting off of forests, to such extent that there was reason to fear that dis- 
tricts hastily cleared under these inducements might be so changed that there could not 
be a few years' cultivation. Dr. J. D. Hooker, of the Royal Kew Gardens, to whom 
reports had been sent, in a letter dated May 27, 1873, to the Earl of Kimberley, calling 
special attention to the consequences likely to follow this improvidence, says : — 

<' It is principally on climatic considerations that the cutting down of forests seems 
to require Government supervision. There is good reason to think that^in tropical coun- 
tries the removal of wood operates effectively in reducing the rainfall. There can at any 
rate be no doubt that the presence of forests plays a most important part in storing the 
rainfall and yielding up gradually to the streams a continuous supply of water, a thmg, I 
need hardly say, in a hot country, of primary importance. Moreover, the rain is retained 
by forests on the surface of the ground ; it giudually permeates to the subsoil, and so 
feeds the underground water-bearing strata upon which springs and wells must eventually 
depend. If the forest is indiscriminately removed the rain runs off as fast as it falls, and 
washes away the superficial and fertile soil with it. 

« The mischief already done in Mauritius and various West India islands is so widely 
spread (being in some, indeed, irreparable), and the feeling of the colonists against any 
interference on the part of the Government is apt to be so determined that I venture to 
press upon your lordship my own opinion as to the urgency of active steps being taken in 
the case of an island so beautiful and at present so fertile as Ceylon. I have lately received 
an account of the deterioration of the climate of some of the leeward islands, which affords 
a melancholy confirmation of what I have urged above. 

" The contrast between neighbouring islands similarly situated is most striking! The 
sad change which has befallen the smaller ones is without any doubt to be ascribed to 
human agency alone. It is recorded of these that in former times they were clothed with 
dense forests, and their older inhabitants remembered when the rains were abundant and 
the hills and all uncultivated places were shaded by ex^nsive groves. The removal of the 
trees was certainly the cause of the present evil. The opening of the soil to the vertical 
sun rapidly dries up the moisture and prevents the rain from sinking to the roots of the 
plants. The rainy seasons in these climates are not continuous, cloudy days, but succes* 
sions of sudden showers, with the sun shining hot in the intervals. Without shade upon 
the surface, the water is rapidly exhaled, and springs and streams diminish. 

" It is not, however, simply to the restriction of the removal of existing forests that I 
would venture to direct your lordship's attention, but also to the object, no less important, 
of making new plantations of forest trees useful for timber and in the arts. Such planta- 
tions would serve the double object of retaining the desired humidity and of yielding a 
revenue to the island." 

The Khanate of Bucharia presents a striking example of the consequences brought 
upon a country by clearings. Within a period of thirty years this was one of the most 
fertile regions of Central Asia, a country which when well wooded and watered was a 
terrestrial paradise. But within the last twenty-five years a mania of clearing has seized 
upon the inhabitants, and all the great forests have been cut away, while the little that 
remained was ravaged by fire during a civil war. The consequences were not long in 
following, and have transformed this country into a kind of arid desert. The water- 
courses are dried up and the irrigating canals empty. The moving sands of the desert 
being no longer restrained by barriers of forest are every day gaining upon the land, and 
will finish by transforming into a desert as desolate as the solitudes that separate it from 
Khiva. Digitized by LrfOOglC 


In the calculations concerning the influence of forests on the rainfall and vegetation 
of a country, the world has suffered from a lack of scientific observations, no country 
having for a number of years in succession employed meteorologists to make the requisite 
observations. In this matter of late years Bavaria has moved to great purpose, and has 
secured already a large amount of valuable data. From these I make the following 
quotations, which if carefully read will give my readers valuable facts lately ascertained 
by the Bavaran Government : — 

" By direct observation, it being shown with certainty, that the evaporation in forests 
covered with litter is very much less than that of naked soil under like circumstances, 
there can be no longer a doubt that not only forests, but also the litter that covers the 
surface, contribute largely to the retention of moisture in the earth and to the feeding of 
springs. The total mean loss of moisture in litter-covered forest soil during the months 
from April to October inclusive, 1869, was sixty-two per cent., and in 1870, fifty-eight per 
cent., less than in soil free froln litter. If we compare these percentages with the preced- 
ing, we find this most interesting result ; that the litter covering contributes as much to 
the retention of moisture in the soil as forests themselves. In very rainy seasons this 
influence is less than in dry years. From this it is seen how important it is to retain a 
protecting covering of moss or leaves on the soil especially upon mountain slopes, where, 
without litter, or even without woods, but very little water penetrates the soil, the water 
for the most part running off into the valleys. 

*^ A knowledge of the amount of precipitation (rain, snow, fog, and dew) during the 
year has a practical as well as a scientific interest, because not only is the height of mean 
water in our rivers governed by the amount of rain and snow, but also the yield of our 
crops is largely dependent upon the amount of moisture in the earth. Each plant during 
its life, uses a considerable amount of water as compared with its weight, and this is 
derived mainly from the soiL In great drought the plant either dies, or is developed but 
poorly, forming few roots and few leaves and seeds. In fertilized soils it may thrive 
better, but without sufficient moisture its vital powers decline. According to the 
careful investigations of Hellriegel it appears, that in sandy soils and in dry regions, the 
size of our crops depends more upon the amount and distribution of rain than any other 
factor. Although generally a greater warmth of the air acts favourably upon the de- 
velopment of plants, it certainly does no service unless the soil receives a corresponding 
amount of rain. 

"The action of the water begins with germination and continues till the formation of 
the fruit In the early summer months the grass will wither in the meadows, the herbs 
and young plants* will dry up, the leaves and blossoms of trees will droop, and the half- 
ripe fruit fall. But how suddenly plants will revive when a long-delayed rain falls on 
the arid earth 1 The forester knows from experience the injuries caused by drought. He 
knows that forest vegetation demands a certain minimum of yearly precipitation, which 
must be relatively greater in warmer and drier climates and soils. He sdso knows that 
the growth of wood is greater in moist and moderately warm years than in hot and dry 
seasons ; in fact, the growth of forest trees and their propagation is governed in a very 
large degree by the distribution of moisture. 

'' l^e great claims which trees make upon the moisture in the soil are explained by 
the circumstance that they contain a large amount of water, which forms the principal 
part of their sap, and a part of the wood fibre, cells and other organic parts. Starch, 
chlorophyl, etc., are saturated with water. It is by its agency that the functions of 
nutrition and growth are carried on. This want is greatly increased by the enormous 
evaporation constantly going on through the leaves, eta, during the growing season 
especially in the day-time, which passes off into the air as an invisible vapour, umI must 
be replenished from the soil through the agency of the roots, or they wilt and die. The 
tree is, in one sense, a stream of water, which, during the growing season is moving from 
the fibres of the roots, through the outer body of wood into the Umbs and branches and 
into the leaves. The forests thus withdraw a great amount of water from the soil and 
give it off as vapour. In winter the process is partially suspended, but stiU tWeis a 

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certain degree of activity in the roots. They lay up a supply of aliment in the wood, 
which serves to keep them a time when grass and herbs would die, and from the 
depth to which the roots penetrate, they are able to draw water from deeper strata which 
never become dry, and may thus be able to endure the driest seasons. The amount of 
water which plants and trees need to sustain life, depends mainly upon the growth and 
evaporation. The latter differs in the same plant according to age, size, and location, as 
well as conditions of soil, amount of lights and motion of the air. We have as yet no 
reliable results as to the amount of water which different forest plants and trees under 
various circumstances lose by evaporation. This is a subject which deserves our attention 
in the highest degree, and furnishes a rich subject for forest experimental stations. While 
Unger found that water would evaporate three times the amount of a plant of the same 
8ur^M>e, Schleiden concludes that a forest evaporates at least three times fiM much water 
as a water-surface of like area. According to Hartig, a forest evaporates less than fre^ 
water or wet earth. In hot summer days some plants will evaporate their own weight. 
In fact, forests afford, and some species of trees, more than others, a kind of vertical 
drainage of water from the soil. * 

"With respect to the relative amount of water falling in the fields and forests, it was 
found uniformly greater at the surface of the earth in the former than the latter, for the 
manifest reason that a part was intercepted by and evaporated from the foliage of the 
trees. The percentage in the woods as compared with the fields, varied in different years, 
by seasons, from forty to ninety, being on the general average of all stations, and, for the 
whole period least in spring and most in winter. These results will be found to agree 
with those obtained at other stations, and the rule would doubtless apply to all countries 
and to every period of time. 

" The foregoing statements show how closely related in a country, are its wealth in 
forests and water (as shown by the great influence of the former), and the litter that 
covers the surface, to the evaporation and moisture. It therefore need not surprise us 
that springs and brooks dry up or flow only periodically, and that the mean height of 
water in rivers and large streams lessens when large surfaces are cleared up, or that 
springs flow more abundantly and regularly when, by replanting, the extent of forests 
is increased. The influence of forests, and of litter-covering on the moisture of the soil, 
founded upon these observations, may be expressed not only in percentages, but we 
may be allowed to draw conclusions from small to great, as they afford the means for 
estimating the loss of water in the soil, caused by large clearings and the taking off of 
litter from any given surface." 

As I am endeavouring to present in this compilation as good an idea as is available 
of what ' has been done in this matter of late years, in different countries, (for the 
world in general appears to be becoming aware of the k>ss of its timber), I will now 
give an opinion relative to the Indian forests from a source which should command 
attention. It .is from a valuable work entitled " India in 1880," by Sir Richard Temple^ 
Bart., G.C.S.I., C.I.E., D.C.L.| late Governor of Bombay, Lieutenant-Governor of 
Bengal, and Finance Minister of India (a work with which, by the way, I was furnished 
by the kindness of Mr. Goldwin Smith) : — 

Of his qualifications for writing such a work, the author says : — *^ If, in undertaking 
to give such a description from my own knowledge, I shall seem presumptuous, I may 
state that the demands of public duty have compelled me to visit every part of the Indian 
Empire, from Thibet to Ceylon, from the Khyber Pass to the frontier of Ava, from the 
valley of Asam to the city of Candahar. It has been my fate to Serve in the three Presi- 
dencies of Bengal, Madras, and Bombay, and in every province of the empire with one 
exception, to be brought in contact with the Native States and the North- West frontier, 
and to be employed in some capacity or other under all the departments of the State. 
These circumstances are mentioned in order to show how the materials have .been acquired 
upon which this volume is founded. I have, with trifling exceptions, not oidy beheld, but 

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made sketches of every scene which is described in these pages. I have been from first 
to last concerned in, or otherwise personally cognizant of almost all the affairs which are 
here discussed." Concerning the forests of India, Sir lUchard says : — 

*^ The forests of India were vast according to tradition, and have been considerable 
even daring periods of authentic history. During some few centuries they have been 
shrinking in size and importance, until they are at present inconsiderable for so great an 
empire as India, which possesses so many ranges of mountains and hills. If the hill-sides 
generally had slopes which could be cultivated, then the forests as they were gradually 
out down and up-rooted, would give place to crop-bearing fields. But the hills are steep,, 
the soil, lying upon rocky strata, is thin, and is speedily washed away by the rains des- 
cending violently at certain seasons. The forest is destined by nature to bind the soil 
with roots, and so to support the lesser vegetation on the ground. Consequently, when 
the hill-side is denuded of trees, the shrubs, plants, and herbage fail to sustain them- 
selves, and barrenness ensues. The unrestrained clearance of the forests has affected the 
climate unfavourably, and lessened the supply of moisture in a country already subject to 
aridity. It has caused wood, a necessary article, to become dear and scarce, and com- 
pelled the people to use for fuel substances which ought to be used for manure. It bns 
reduced to a low ebb some valuable portions of the national wealth, and cut off beyond 
recovery some branches of the imperud resources. For many generations the forests have 
been felled whenever firewood had to be gathered for the consumption of the, villagers, or . 
new lands reclaimed from the hilly slopes, or towns built with styles of architecture in 
which wood is largely used, more particularly when cantonments for troops had to be 
formed, or civil edificies constructed. The felling used to be carried dii indiscriminately, 
without any thought of leaving some parts of the forests, or even a few trees here and 
there, for reproduction in the future. This destructive process was continued under 
British rule, and became even aggravated under various circumstance& Timber was 
needed for the building of barracks, and the officers of the public works' department used 
to make contracts with capitalists for its supply. These officers were unwilling to inter- 
fere with the operations of the contractors who, having no abiding interest in the forests, 
cleared them to the last logs, without regard for the consequences of such denudation* 
The forests had been so little explored that the loced authorities seldom became aware of 
the mischief that was being done. When railways began to be constructed, sleepers were 
not, as they now often are, obtained from Northern Europe, but were procured from local 
forests, through the agency of contractors, who denuded the forests according to the 
custom which had unfortunately been established in such cases. The Government theo- 
retically deplored the evil so far as they knew its existence ; but its real proportions 
remained long unknown by reason of the ignorance which prevailed in respect to the 
sites, value and stock of the forests. 

*' Within the present generation, scientific attention has been awakened, the Cbvern- 
ment has bestirred itself, and an effective management of forests has been inaugurated. 
Mischief, practically immense, has been done alr^dy, of which some parts are irreparable, 
or can be repaired only after the lapse of a long time, while others may be remedied within 
one or two generationa Of the primeval forests there remains several, still intact, enough 
to constitute a national resource. 

<* In the lower ranges of the Himalayan mountains, in central India, in the valleys 
of the Yindhya and Aravali ranges, in the northern and western portions of the Deccan, 
and in many districts of the Madras Presidency, the forests have been for the most part so 
long destroyed that their restoration is hardly to be anticipated. But in the higher ranges 
of Uie Himalayas, in the central tracts of the Punjab, in the Satpura range, in that hilly 
region where the Vindhya and Satpura ranges join, in the Eastern and Western Ghat 
ranges, they are either preserved, or else but partially destroyed, and may still prove very 
productive. In some parts of the Bengal Presidency, and in many parts of the Presidencies 
of Madras and Bombay, the remnant of them is still being invaded bit by bit. Many 
authorities apprehend that the western and southern provinces of India are, owing to the 
destruction of the forests, threatened with a danger which is feebly checked, and which, 
if not arrested, may seriously affect the best interests of the country. 

*' The woods and forests of India from the Himalayas to Cape Comorin comprise, as 


might be expected, trees of European kinds ; the cedar, the pine, the fir, the mountain 
cypress, the juniper, the yew, the oak, the ilex, the ehn, the ash, the maple, the plane, 
the hoUy, the laurel, the birch, the walnut, the alder. The Asiatic sorts are the acacia^ 
the terminalia, the ebony ; the ficus order including the banyan and the india-rubber tree^ 
the mango, the sandal- wood, the cane, the bamboo, the toon, the neem, the blackwood, 
the sal ; and greatest of all, the teak. To these should be added the palms, including the 
feathery date-palm, the palmyra with its fan-like leaves, and the betel-nut palm. The 
lesser products of the forests, such as myro-balans, and other articles, are also consi- 

'^ Many believe that the rainfall is copious and seasonable or otherwise, according as 
the woods and forests, and the vegetation subsidiary to them, are preserved or destroyed, 
while others disbelieve this view, which at all events must admit of much qualification. 
But, after all due abatements have been made, the view is generally held to comprise 
some truth. The total rainfall of the whole country cannot possibly be afiected by the 
existence of forests. The average quantity of vapour must come from the ocean and must 
be condensed somewhere ; if it be not changed into rain as it passes across the plains, it 
will pass on to the mountains and be transformed there. This, indeed, is a matter of 
common experience ; moisture-laden clouds float over the Deccan, leaving it arid, and 
move on to the Satpura range, and, being condensed there, fill the torrent-beds with rain- 
water which rushes into the rivers and returns ultimately to the plain in the shape of 
inundations. Similarly, clouds sweep over the thirsty plains of Hindostan, and being 
condensed in the Himalayas, return in the form of floods in the great rivers. The hope 
is that, if forest tracts were distributed over the plains, there would be cool surfaces to 
attract the clouds and to arrest them, as it were, on their way. There are many tracts 
where forests, if preserved, would grow up in a short time. Thus it is anticipated by 
many that the climate would be improved, and that the early and the later rains 
would descend more seasonably than at present. It is remembered that, throughout 
the world, those regions which possess rich vegetation receive abundant rains, while 
those which are denuded of vegetation are rainless. It is remarked, too, that those regions 
in India, which ordinarily receive rain, but have been parched by a long drought, are 
plagued afterwards with immoderate rain. 

'^ At all events the forests, and their subsidiary vegetation^ husband and store by a 
natural process the exceeding moisture of the rainy season, for the benefit of the country 
during the dry season. The streams become better filled and more available for the use 
of the people ; the springs are less likely to run dry, the wells less liable to failure. This 
consideration becomes peculiarly important in those regions where the canals for irrigation 
are drawn from rivers having their source in mountains which depend on the annual rain- 
fall for moisture. Near the springs and along the upper courses of these rivers the 
vegetation needs especially to be preserved for the sake of the canals. 

'^ The economic considerations relating to the forests are manifestly important, as 
wood is used' largely in the construction of the houses and cottages in most parts of the 
country. In northern India, where trees are few, the earth, indurated by the sun, affords 
good material, and the earthem walls are durable, but elsewhere the earth does not 
always possess a like degree of consistency. For these reasons it is essential that the 
timber markets should be well supplied. Without interposition by the State, the wood 
and timber would become scarcer and dearer from time to time, as the forests became 
exhausted. As coal is not available, the people require wood for fuel ; if they 6annot 
obtain wood they will use cow-dung cakes for burning. The practice of consuming for 
fuel that which ought to be used for manure in a country too, where artificial manure is 
not available, extensively prevails, is most injurious, and tends to exhaustion of the soil 
The only means of lessening this practice is by preserving the forests to provide a cheap 
and plentiful supply of wood for fuel. 

'^ Thus the policy of preserving the forests rests on two grounds, first the improve- 
ment of the climate and the retention of moisture; secondly the husbanding of the national 
resources in timber and fuel for the use of the people. This policy is of much consequence 
to the well-being of the country and the nation.'' 

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Mr. Marsh says that, concerning the influence of the forest, considered as inorganic 
matter on temperature : — '' The evaporation of fluids and the condensation and expansion 
of vapours and gases are attended with changes of temperature ; and the quantity of mois- 

'ture which the air is capable of containing ; and of course, other things being equal, the 
evaporation rises and falls with the thermometer. The hygroscopical and the thermoscopi- 
cal conditions of the atmosphere are therefore inseparably connected as reciprocaUy de- 
pendent quantities, and neither can be fully discussed without taking notice of the other. 
The leaves of living trees exhale enormous quantities of gas and of aqueous vapour, and 
they largely absorb gases, and under certain conditions, probably also water. Hence they 
affect more or less powerfully the temperature as well as the humidity of the air. But 
the forest, regarded purely as inorganic matter, and without reference to its living pro- 
xsesses of absorption and exhalation of gases and of water, has, as an absorbent, a nuUator, 

•and a conductor of heat, and as a mere covering of the ground, an influence on the tem- 
perature of the air and the earth, which may be considered by itself. i 

^^ Balance of ConfUoting Iiifluences of Forest on Atmospheric Heat and Humidity, 

'' We have shown that the forest, considered as dead matter, tends to diminish the 
moisture of the air, by preventing the sun's rays from reaching the ground and evapora- 
ting the water that falls upon the surface, and also by spreading over the earth a spongy 
mantle which sucks up and retains the humidity it receives from the atmosphere j while, 
- at the same time, this covering acts in the contrary direction by accumulating in a reser- 
voir not wholly inaccessible to vaporizing influences, the water of precipitation which 
might otherwise suddenly sink deep into the bowels of the earth, or flow by superficial 
chimnels to other climatic regions. We now see that, as a living organism, it tends, on 
the one hand, to diminish the humidity of the air, by sometimes absorbing moisture from 
^ it, and, on the other, to increase that humidity by pouring out into the atmosphere, in a 
vaporous form, the water it draws up through its roots. This last operation, at the same 
time, lowers the temperature of the air in contact with or proximity to the wood, by the 
same law as in other oases of the conversion of water into vaipour. 

" As I have repeatedly said, we cannot measure the value of any one of these ele- 
ments of climatic disturbance, raising or lowering of temperature, increase or diminution 
of humidity ; nor can we say that in any one season, any one year, or any one fixed cycle, 
however long or short, they balance and compensate each other. They are sometimes, but 

• certainly not always contemporaneous in their action, whether their tendency is in the 
same or in opposite directions, and, therefore, their influence is sometimes cumulative, 
sometimes conflicting, but, upon the whole, their general effect is to mitigate extremes of 
atmospheric heat and cold, moisture and drought. They serve as equalizers of tempera- 
ture and humidity, and it is highly probable that in analogy with most other works and 
workings of nature, they, at certain or uncertain periods restore the equilibrium, which, 
whether as lifeless masses or as living organisms they may have temporarily disturbed. 

<* When, therefore, man destroys these natural harmonizers of climatic discords, he 
sacrifices an important conservative power, though it is far from certain that he has 
thereby affected the mean, however much he may have exaggerated the extremes of at- 
mospheric temperature and humidity, or, in other words, may have increased the range 
and lengthened the scale of thermometric and hygrometric variations. 

" Special Influence of Woods on Precipitation, 

" With the question of the action of forests upon temperature and upon atmospheric 
liumidity is intimately connected that of their influence upon precipitation, which they 
may affect by increasing or diminishing the warmth of the air and by absorbing or ex- 
haling uncombined gas and aqueous vapour. The forest being a natural arrangement, the 
presumption is that it exercises a conservative action, or at least a compensating one, and 
consequently that its destruction must tend to produce pluviometrical disturbances as well 
as thermometrical variations. And this is the opinion of perhaps the greatest number of 

• observers. Indeed, it is almost impossible to suppose that, under certain conditions of 
time and place, .the quantity and the periods of rain should not depend, more or less, upon 

"the presence or absence of forests ; and without insisting that the removal of forests has 

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diminished the sum-total of snow and rain, we may well admit that it has lessened the 
quantity which annually falls within particular limits. Various theoretical considerations- 
make this probable, the most obvious argument, perhaps, being that drawn from the gen- 
erally admitted fact, that the summer and even mean temperature of the forest is below 
that of the open country in the same latitude. If the air in a wood is cooler than that 
around it, it must reduce the temperature of the atmospheric stratum immediately abov& 
it, and, of course, whenever a saturated current sweeps over it, it must produce precipi- 
tation which would fall upon it, or at a greater or less distance from it. 

'' We must here take into the account a very important consideration. It is not 
universally or even generally true that the atmosphere returns its condensed humidity to 
the local source from which it receives it. The air is constantly in motion — 

howling tempests scour amain 

From sea to land, from land to sea ; 

and, therefore, it is always probable that the evaporation drawn up by the atmosphere- 
from a given river, or sea, or forest, or meadow, will be discharged by precipitation, not 
at or near the point where it rose, but at a distance of miles, leagues, or even degrees. 
The currents of the upper air are invisible, and they leave behind them no landmark to- 
record theilr track. We know not whence they come, or whither they go. We have a. 
certain rapidly increasing acquaintance with the laws of general atmospheric n^otion, but 
of the origin and limits, the beginning and end of that motion, as it manifests itself at 
any particular time and place, we know nothing. We cannot say where or when the 
vapour, exhaled to-day from the lake on which we float, will be condensed and fall ;; 
whether it will waste itself on a barren desert, refresh upland pastures, descend in snow 
on Alpine heights, or contribute to swell a distant torrent, which shall lay waste square 
miles of fertile corn-land ; nor do we know whether the rain which feeds our brooklets is 
due to the transpiration from a neighbouring forest or to the evaporation from a far-ofT 
sea. If, therefore, it were proved that the annual quantity of rain and dew is now as 
great on the plains of Castile, for example, as it was when they were covered with the 
native forest, it would by no means follow that those woods did not augment the amount 
of precipitation elsewhera 

'^ llie whole problem of the pluviometrical influence of the forest, general or local,, 
is so exceedingly complex and difficult that it cannot with our present means of know- 
ledge be decided upon it priori grounds. It must now be regarded as a question of fact 
which would probably admit of scientific explanation if it were once established what the 
actual fact is. Unfortunately the evidence is conflicting in tendency, and sometime& 
equivocal in interpretation, but I believe that a majority of the foresters and physidista 
who have studied the question are of opinion that in many, if not in all cases, the destruc- 
tion of the woods has been followed by a diminution in the annual quantity of rain and 
dew. Indeed, it has long been a popularly settled belief that vegetation and the conden- 
sation and fall of atmospheric moisture are reciprocally necessary to each other, and even, 
the poets sing of 

* # -* Afrio's barren sand, 
Where nought can grow, because it raineth not, 
And where no rain can fall to bless the land, 
Because nought grows there." 

Dr. Schacht, Professor at the University of Bonn, says in his well-known work,. 
** Les Arbres " : — 

*'The snow and ice which accumulate during the winter on the mountains, melt 
rapidly under the spring sunshine — thus swelling the torrents whose mass of water makes 
its way into the valleys with resistless force. But when the mountain sides are covered 
by forests, or where the arable plains are bordered by woods, the scene changes its aspect 
The greater part of the snow is deposited on the trees or falls between them, and the 
water which results is absorbed by the soil formed by the accumulation of vegetable mat- 
ter ; but wherever the forests have disappeared, the spring inundations of the rivers have* 

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acquired a^ frequency unknown before. It cannot be disputed that the terrible destruc-^ 
tive effects of the inundations of the Loire and the Vistula of late years must be in great 
part attributed to the excessive denudation of the forests. 

^* A mountain cliff, a wall, or a forest are the natural protections against the wind. 
In this respect the forest cannot be without beneficial effect on the adjacent country ; the 
young growth of trees flourishes, screened from the force of the wind, the arable land 
develops itself better, the shifting sands meet an impassible barrier, and the noxious 
influence of the dry winds is turned aside. 

^' It is, then, indisputably that the forests exercise a salutary influence on the tem- 
peratxire of a country. The sanitary condition of man and of domestic animals, as well 
as the growth of cultivated plants, immediately depends on the climate of the locality. 
Epidemics, unknown before, may perhaps be attributed to a climatic change brought about 
by the destruction of forests. 

" The fertility of a country depends on its supply of forest land, for on this depend 
the foundation of soil, the precipitation of dew, and fall of rain, the steady current of 
rivers, the mitigation of the evil influences of unhealthy winds, and the growth of vege- 
tation in the fields and meadows. The great fertility of certain tropical regions, as we 
have shown with respect to Madeira and the Canaries, is in great part due to the exfcen- 
sion of forest land. 

** Cultivated plains and forests are by no means so opposed to each other as that they 
cannot exist together. The kind of land where one flourishes is by no means always 
suitable to the other. For example, at a certain altitude of mountains of a rocky nature, 
cultivation cannot well be carried on, while yet the ground is well suited to forests. Much 
elevated ground, now covered with crops which scarcely pay for the labour expended in 
producing them, was formerly wooded. The bed of soil produced by the shade and debris 
of forests has disappeared with them ; each new fall of rain has carried away some of its 
soluble constituents, in each a new loss to the soil which, thus impoverished, becomes at 
last sterile. 

" We are far from asserting that we can do without arable lands any more than 
forests, it is clearly right to cut down woods when in need of land for culture. But the 
destruction of forests ought never to exceed its necessary limits, never should some tem- 
porary need decide on the fall of a forest, nor should this ever be allowed when wheat is 
incapable of growing; and wherever a forest is felled, we should always replace it with 
a new plantation of trees. The prairies, fields of wheat and of other grain, like all vege^ 
tables, do exercise an influence both on the soil and in the atmosphere. Nay, more, 
these would yet further improve the soil, if the harvest and the rotation of crops did not 
each year remove their supply of organic and mineral nutriment With these the fields 
ought to be manured, as the forests are each year, by the fallen leaves. The action of 
arable fields and meadows on the atmosphere is the same as that of forests, but within 
much weaker limits, and with a gentler surface of exhalation and absorption. Fields and 
arable lands cannot supply the place of forests, they cannot retain in as complete a man^ 
ner the moisture in the soil, or impress in the atmosphere so active a circulation. The 
proportion between arable lands and forests ought to be based on the special conditions of 
the soil and climate of a country. This question is one of the most difficult, as it is one 
of the most interesting problems of political economy, and on its solution depends, to no 
slight degree, the development and well-being of nations. 

'* Since Julius Csesar and the other Koman historians, Germany has been covered by 
vast forests. It was the same in Spain according to Diodorous Siculus, in Greece accord- 
ing to Herodotus and Thucydides. Under the Roman Empire the forests were banished 
to the mountains, and were in fact reduced to the condition of plantations. Green oaks 
and cork trees abounded as did pine along the Guadalquiver. 

" How to reconstruct the forests : — By culture and care, by well-chosen replanting, 
by the plantation of new woods. One should never cut down woods excepting when 
there is need of lumber, or when beneficial to the forests themselves. Trees which have 
not yet attained the full growth of their development should never be cut down but from 
absolute necessity. The plantations of old trees should be sacrificed ; their development 
is at an end, and the soil will profit more by a new plantation. When woods are cut 

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down the ground should never be left unoocupied. There is no difficulty in establishing 
a new forest on ground of good quality and well protected ; but this is hard, if not impos- 
sible on soil impoverished or exposed to the heat of the sun or violence of wind. Yet it 
is the plantation of such land as this which is generally undertaken by Grovemments. 
The difficulty is three-fold : — 1. Absence of soil. 2. Want of shade in summer. 2. Cold 
winds in autumn and winter. Against the first of these, our principal resource is to plant 
in sufficient quantity those plants which, like the sand grass, by the interlacement of 
their root-fibres, prevent the nutritive elements of the soil from being drained away by 
the rains. It is probable that the net of mesh-work formed by their roots will at last 
solidify the soil, which will also profit by the continuous deposit of clay. After these pre- 
liminary operations, one can begin to plant trees. 

^* The pine, birch, aspen, alder, are well able to bear the heat of the sun, and should 
be planted first, then the oak, witch-elm, etc., in their shade." 

It will be valuable for our purpose to notice Mr. Marsh's statement respecting 
snow : — 

" Whenever the humidity of the atmosphere in contact with snow is above the point 
of saturation at the temperature to which the air is cooled by such contact, the superflu- 
ous moisture is absorbed by the snow or condensed and frozen upon its surface, and of 
course adds so much to the winter supply of water received from the snow by the ground. 
This quantity, in all probability, much exceeds the loss by evaporation, for during the 
period when the ground is covered with snow, the proportion of clear dry weather 
favourable to evaporation, is less than that of humid days with an atmosphere in a condi- 
tion to yield up its moisture to any bibulous substance cold enough to condense it. 

" In our Northern States, irregular as is the climate, the first autumnal snows pretty 
constantly fall before the ground is frozen at all, or when the frosts extends at most to a 
depth of only a few inches. In the woods, especially those situated upon the elevated 
ridges which supply the natural irrigation of the soU and feed the perennial fountains 
and streams, the ground remains covered with snow during the winter ; for the trees pro- 
tect the snow from blowing from the general surface into the depressions, and new acces- 
sions are received before the covering deposited by the first fall is melted. Snow is of a 
colour unfavourable for radiation, but, even when it is of considerable thickness, it is not 
wholly impervious to the rays of the sun, and for this reason, as well as from the warmth 
of lower strata, the frozen crust of the soil, if one has been formed, is soon thawed, and 
does not again fall below the freezing-point during the winter. 

" The snow in contact with the earth now begins to melt, with greater or less rapidity, 
according to the relative temperature of the earth and the air, while the w&ter resulting 
from its dissolution is imbibed by the vegetable mould, and carried oS by infiltration so 
fast that both the snow and the layers of leaves in contact with it often seem compara- 
tively dry, .when, in fact, the under surface of the former is in a state of perpetual thaw. 
No doubt a certain proportion of the snow is given off to the atmosphere by direct evapo- 
ration, but, in the woods, the protection against the sun by even leafless trees prevents 
much loss in this way, and besides, the snow receives much moisture from the air by 
absorption and condensation. Very little water runs ofl* in the winter by superficial 
water-courses, except in rare cases of sudden thaw, and there can be no question that 
much the greater part of the snow deposited in the forest is slowly melted and absorbed 
by the earth. 

" The immense importance of the forest, as a reservoir of this stock of moisture, be- 
comes apparent, when we consider that a large proportion of the summer rain either flows 
into the valleys and the rivers, because it falls faster than the ground can imbibe it ; or, 
if absorbed by the warm superficial strata, is evaporated from them without sinking deep 
enough to reach wells and springs, which, of course, depend much on winter rains and 
snows for their entire supply. This observation, though specially true of cleared and 
cultivated grounds, is not wholly inapplicable to the forest, especially when, as is too often 
the case in Europe, the underwood and decaying leaves are removed 

" The quantity of snow that falls in extensive forests, far from the open country, has 

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seldom been ascertained by direct observation, because there are few meteorological sta* 
tions in or near the forest. According to Thompson, the proportion of water which falls 
in snow in the Northern States does not exceed one fifth of the total precipitation, but 
the moisture derived from it is doubtless considerably increased by the atmospheric vapour 
absorbed by it, or condensed and frozen on its suHace. I think I can say from experi- 
ence — and I am confirmed in this opinion by the testimony of competent observers whose 
attention has been directed specially to the point — ^that though much snow is intercepted 
by the trees, and the quantity on the ground in the woods is consequently less than in 
the open land in the first part of the winter, yet most of what reaches the ground at that 
season remains under the protection of the wood until melted, and as it occasionally re- 
ceives new supplies, the depth of the snow in the forest in the latter half of the winter is 
considerably greater than in the cleared fields. Careful measurements in a snowy region 
in New England, in the month of February, gave a mean of thirty-eight inches in the 
open ground and forty-four inches in the woods. 

^' The general effect of the forest in cold climates is to assimilate the winter state 
of the ground to that of wooded regions under softer skies ; and it is a circumstance 
well worth noting, that in Southern Europe, where nature has denied to the earth a 
warm winter garment of flocculent snow, she has, by one of those compe;isations in 
which her empire is so rich, clothed the hill-sides with umbrella and other pines, ilexes, 
cork-oaks, bays, and other trees of persistent foliage, whose evergreen leaves afford to 
the soil a protection analogous to that which it derives from snow in more northern 

" The water imbibed by the soil in winter sinks until it meets a more or less imper- 
meable or saturated stratum, and then, by unseen conduits, slowly finds its way to the 
channels of springs, or oozes out of the ground in drops which unite in rills, and so all is 
conveyed to the larger streams, and by them finally to the sea. The water, in percolating 
through the vegetable and mineral layers, acquires their temperature, and is chemically 
affected by their action, but it carries very little matter in mechanical suspension. 

** The process I have described is a slow one, and the supply of moisture derived 
from the snow, augmented by the rains of the following seasons, keeps the forest ground, 
where the surface is level or but moderately inclined, in a state of approximate saturation 
throughout almost the whole year. 

" It may be proper to observe here that in Italy, and in many parts of Spain and 
France, the Alps, the Appenines, and the Pyrenees, not to speak of less important moun- 
tains, perform the functions which provident nature has in other regions assigned to the 
forest— that is, they act as reservoirs wherein is accumulated in winter a supply of mois- 
ture to nourish the parched plains during the droughts of summer. Hence, however 
enormous may be the evils which have accrued to the above-mentioned countries from the 
destruction of the woods, the absolute desolation which would otherwise have smitten 
them through the folly of man, has been partially prevented by those natural dispositions 
by means of which there are stored up in the glaciers, in the snow-fields, and in the basins 
of mountains and valleys, vast deposits of condensed moisture which are afterwards dis- 
tributed in a liquid form during the season in which the atmosphere furnishes a slender 
supply of the beneficent fluid so indispensable to vegetable and animal life." 

An elegant French writer upon forest economy, Jules Clav^, in a work entitled 
" £ltudes sur TEconomie Foresti^re," thus clearly describes the processes of nature by 
which forests maintain and equalize the flow of waters : — 

" Bains, — The first phenomenon that offers for our inquiry, in the study of the regu- 
lation of the watei-s, is rain. It is this that gives rise to springs and rivers, and that in 
certain conditions of continuance occasions inundations. 

^* Bain is caused by the precipitation of the vapour held by the atmosphere, and this 
precipitation is commonly caused by cold and humid winds. When these winds come to 
us (in France) from the ocean or the Mediterranean, and pass over a place where the 
temperature is too low to hold these vapours in suspension, they cohdense and fall as 

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*' It has been claimed th&t the presence of forests, like mountains, have the effect of 
lowering the temperature, and by this means of increasing the abundance of rains as well 
6.8 of diminishing their viplence. It cannot be doubted that forests have the effect of 
sheltering the surface from solar heat, and of causing a cutaneous exhalation from the 
leaves, while they multiply, by the spreading of their branches, the amount of surface 
cooled by this evaporation, and thus have a cooling effect ; but this, in fact, is far from 
being general, and especially in our climate it is often marked, and even neutralized, by 
local circumstances, such as the physical properties of the soil, the topographical situation 
of the place, the direction of prevailing winds, eta If it is certain that the mean tempe- 
rature of our country is higher than was in Ckiul in the days of Csasar, when it was 
covered with forests, we must nevertheless admit that while a forest protects the surface 
from cold winds it does not tend to raise the temperature, and that if cut away a refri- 
gerator would not be thereby necessarily produced. Thus, for example, it has been 
proved that the department of VArdechey which is now without a single considerable piece 
of woods, has shown during the last thirty years a perturbation of climate, of which late 
spring frosts, formerly unknown in the country, are among the saddest effects. A similar 
remark may be made in the plains of Alsace, since the denudation of several of the crests 
of the Vosges." 

" Tropical Forests. — ^On the contrary, in countries within the tropics, where the nights 
are usually very serene, the radiating power of plant-s is sensibly increased, and the energy 
of other frigorific causes are developed in the same proportion, so that the presence of 
forests tends uniformly to reduce the temperature. This fact was proved by numerous 
observations given in M. Boussingault's work on the region included between the eleventh 
degree of north and fifth degree of south latitude, and it effectually explains the reason 
why America is not so hot as Africa within these latitudes. 

" The action of forests upon rainfall, through the influence which they exert upon 
the temperature, is therefore very difficult to determine in our country ; but it is dis- 
tinctly marked in warmer climates, as proved by numberless examples. M. Boussingault 
reports that in the region comprised between the Bay of Cupica and the Gulf of Guaya- 
quil — a district covered with immense forests — the rains are almost continual, and that 
the mean temperature of this humid country is scarcely above 79° F. M. Blanqui, in his 
travels in Bulgaria, mentions that at Malta the rains have become so seldom, since the 
trees have been cut away to make room for cotton, that at the time of his visit in October, 
1841, not a drop of rain had fallen during three years. The fearful dryness which has 
desolated the Cape Yerde Islands may be, in like manner, attributed to tJie cutting off of 
forests. On the island of St Helena, where the wooded surface has considerably increased 
within the last few years, they observe that the amount of rain increases in the same pro- 
portion, and it is now double that which fell annually at the time of Napoleon's sojourn 
there. Lastly, in Egypt, the recent plantations have brought rains where they were 
almost unknown beforei 

<< In the midst of this uncertainty in which our climate is left, by the study of mete- 
orology — for the hygrometrical operations made at different points in France have yielded 
results too diverse to serve as the foundation of any theory — we will come to limit our 
study of the action of forests to the regulation of the water courses in the single point of 
view which their mechanical and physical laws present." 

" Rains, how disposed of in Forests. — ^The rains which fall upon our continents are 
disposed of as follows : — ^A part runs from the surface into the streams that carry it back 
to the sea. Another part is evaporated soon after its fall and returns to the atmosphere, 
and another part is absorbed by the ground The first and third of these exclusively go 
to feed the springs and rivers, while the second is wholly withdrawn from our calculation. 
This feeding of the water courses is more or less regular or constant, according as it finds 
a superficial or underground passage-way, and therefore depends not only on the physical 
properties and the topographical contours of the soil, but also upon the vegetation with 
which it is covere,d. 

** Under ordinary circumstances, the superficial flow produces no effect except upon 
«oil where the slope is considerable and quite impervious to the water, such as denuded 

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rock or compact clay. It contributes, only in a very irregular manner, to the feeding of 
rivers and streams, as it delivers considerable volumes at certain times, and becomes no- 
thing as soon as the rain ceases. But, on the contrary, when the soil is permeable, it 
absorbs all the water that falls, and does not deliver it again at the surface until some 
days after the rain, if completely absorbed. It is then that the action of forests begins 
to be felL But if, in fact, the soil is uncovered, the kquid volume descends with a velo- 
city proportionate to the slope, and brings with it the materials of every kind that 
obstruct its course, at the same time increasing its volume and destructive power. If 
these form torrents of limited ravage when the rainfall is local, they become fearful inun- 
dations when it is more general in extent. But, on the contrary, if the soil is covered 
with woods the flow is more gentle. Being arrested at every point, broken by the trees, 
their branches, and the mosses which it encounters on the way, the water arrives at the 
bottom of the valley much slower, without erosions, and without bringing with it any 
foreign substances. The forest, therefore, in hindering the delivery of the water, lessens 
the chances of engorgement" 

^^ Evaporation. — We know that evaporation is going on at all temperatures, with 
greater or less rapidity, whenever the surrounding air is not already saturated with moisture. 
AH other things being equal, it is greater when the ground is cleared than when covered 
with forests, because the latter arrest the action of the winds and prevent the masses of 
air, when saturated, from being renewed, and keeps the temperature lower by shielding 
the surface from the sun's heat. In lessening^the amount of water evaporated, it by so 
much increases the quantity that is absorbed. It is, moreover, needless to insist upon a 
fact which everybody knows — for no one can be ignorant of the fact — ^that the soil in a 
forest after a rain remains wet much longer than where the surface has been cleared. 

'* Evaporation can only take place when, at a given temperature, the air is not satu- 
rated with moisture. But the rains themselves prove that there is an excess of satura- 
tion in the air at the time, and therefore there can be no evaporation when it rains. 
They can, therefore, have no very serious influence upon inundations properly so-called, 
and in this regard cleared lands present no advantage over others." 

" Absorption, — A part of the water which falls is absorbed by the soiL Some of this 
is used by Uie vegetation, and serves to carry into the tissues of plants their soluble 
mineral elements, and is then returned in a certain degree to the atmosphere by the exha- 
lations of the leaves. Another portion filters slowly into the soil till it meets an imper- 
vious stratum, and then flows along this bed, following its undulations, till it appears at 
the surface in the form of springs, unless it is drawn down into the depths of the earth's 
crust. It is this part alone, which is absorbed by the earth, that feeds the springs and 
furnishes the aliment of rivers. Every cause which tends to increase, to its detriment, 
the evaporation or pure loss of water, or to augment the superficial fldw, has to this ex- 
tent an influence upon the regulation of the water flow, and in this regard forests exer- 
cise a most important influence. All soils are not equally permeable. Some, as in the 
oolitic formation, absorb nearly all the rain that falls upon their surface. Others, like 
the primary rocks and liasic soils,, allow rain to penetrate only so far as they are covered 
with v^|[etable mould. It is implied, therefore, that these vegetable beds should be pre- 
served at the highest points, since they tend to increase the subterranean contingent of a 
part of the water, which, without its presence, would flow ofl* upon its surfiu^e. But 
forests serve marvellously the functions of fixing the soil upon the steepest slopes. There 
will be no need of conviction upon this point to one who shall pass over the Alps or Pyrenees, 
where every peasant knows that to consolidate the banks of the brooks that cross his fields, 
and to prevent the gullying of the slopes of the roads, he has only to plant a few trees. 
Who does not, moreover, know the cohesive power of grass turf in fostering the roots of 
plants t The forests are turf upon a large scale, in which the blades of herbage are re- 
placed by trees, of which the roots strike two or three yards into the soil They can, 
therefore, oppose an invincible resistance to this washing away of the soil. According to 
M. Brougniart, the roots of trees contribute to augment the permeability of certain soils 
by offering a Idnd of vertical drainage." 

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" Clay Soils. — Nor is this all. When the soil is carried away, it confines a certain 
proportion of clay, which, when moistened to a depth which, according to M. Becquerel, 
does not exceed six times the depth of the sheet of falling water, it forms a natural cup, 
its pores being obstructed mechanically by the rains which harden them. It is then im- 
permeable, and free to deliver, by superficial flow, all the liquid that has not been absorbed. 
But when, on the contrary, the surleu^e is covered with forests, the dome of foliage breaks 
the force of the rains, which only reach the soil in a state of minute division, and this 
impervious condition cannot then take place to hinder effective absorption. Finally, by 
the humus which they produce, forests increase the absorbent qualities of different soils, 
and consequently the amount of liquids with which they may be charged. This absorbent 
quality is about twenty-five per cent, in weight in sandy soils, and varies from fifty to 
ninety per cent., for argillaceous soils, and in humus it rises to one hundred and ninety 
per cent. 

" We must admit," says M. Hun, " that the sheet of water produced by the heaviest 
rains scarcely e;cceeds 3.9 inches in depth. But the bed of soil in a well-stocked forest 
comprises a layer of humus over a great part of the surface of more than double this 
deptL In speaking of forests I do not refer to the thin and ruined woods to which this 
name has been improperly applied ; but to the timber lands like the forests belonging to 
the state, and to all the communal forests in the eastern departments, where the soil has 
a capacity for absorption greater than the volume of water yielded by the heaviest show- 
ers. From this we may explain the fact that after a deluging rain, the water-courses 
issuing from a well-stocked forest, show only a moderate increase in their volume, and 
that they keep this up for quite a time, their transparency being scarcely affected.'' 

** General Conclusions : — Thus, to resume our subject, forests hinder the superficial 
flow, or delay its progress ; they hinder evaporation, and in a rain of given amount they 
tend to increase the portion that is absorbed by the soil, and to diminish the surplus flow, 
which is lost without profit. 

" The data of the problem being stated, it is easy to adduce the conclusions. If we 
assume that the mean annual number of rainy days is 120 and of dry days 244, it follows 
that, in order that the rivers shall always keep at a constant level, the time required for 
the flow of their waters should be nearly three times greater than that in which they fell 
as rain. It would be necessary, therefore, that they should be stored in a reservoir of 
which the outlet should only be one-third as great as the inlet, thus allowing the waters 
to escape in a time three times as long as that in which they are received. If the flow 
takes place more rapidly, the reservoir will be dry for a season, after having flowed in ex- 
cessive abundance, which might cause either a local or a general inundation. If, on the 
contrary, the flow is not so fast, it will not discharge in a proper time all the liquid mass, 
and there will be an engorgement producing marshes, and finally inundations. Thus, an 
undue excess of rapidity or of slowness in the discharge of rainwater will cause, as we 
shall hereafter see, either from an absence from an extreme abundance of forests, the same 

^^ Forests retard the flow of waters: — Forests, by favouring absorption, allow only the 
minimum of waters to be liberated. Moreover, in prolonging the discharge of the liquid 
absorbed, they extend the time required for its flowing off, and serve like a reservoir, of 
which the springs are the outlets, and thus insure the regular feeding of the water-courses. 
Denuded soil, on the contrary, allows a part of this water to escape both by evaporation 
and by superficial flow, retaining only imperfectly what it absorbs, and allows the sun's 
rays to pump up the moisture from the lower beds. For these reasons the springs become 
dry in summer and the rivers engorged in winter. 

" Examples near at home : — But why should we seek so far away for the proofs of 
phenomena that are renewed daily under our eyes, and of which any Parisian may con- 
vince himself without venturing beyond the Bois de Boulogne or the forest of Meudon t 
Let him walk out, after some days of rain, along the Ohevrence road, bordered on the 
right by the forest of Meudon, and on the left by cultivated fields. The amount of rain 

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that has fallen is the same on both sides, and jet the ditches by the roadside along the 
edge of the forest will be still filled with water, proving the infiltration going on from the 
wooded soil, while, already for some time, those on the other side, adjoining the cleared 
fields, will have been dry, after having served their purpose by a sadden flow. The ditch 
on the left will have emptied itself in a few hours of all the water, which the one on the 
right will take some days to convey to the bottom of the valley. 

*' Direct effect of Forests lUvstrcOed: — To those examples we may add another which 
appears to ns to be characteristic. It is due to the observations of Mr. Oantegril, sub> 
inspector of forests, and was communicated by him to the Ami des Sciences. 

*' Upon the territory of the commune of Labrugm^re there is a forest of 1,834 
hectares, (4,524 acres), known as the forest of Montant, and owned by the commune. It 
extends northward on the Montagne-Noire, and the soil is granitic with a maximum alti- 
tude of 1,243 meters, and a slope of from fifteen to sixty in one hundred. A little water- 
course, the Caunan brook, rises in this forest and drains the waters of two-thirds of its 
surface. At the entrance of the forest, and along this brook, will be found several fulling 
mills, each requiring eight horse-power, and moved by water-wheels which work the 
beaters of the machines. 

''The commune of Labrugni^re had long been noted for its opposition to the forest 
regulations, and the cutting of wood, together with the abuse of pasturage, had converted 
the forest into an immense waste, so that this great property would hardly pay the cost 
of guarding it, and afford a meagre supply of wood for its inhabitants. 

'' While the forest was thus ruined and the soil denuded, the waters after each heavy 
rain swept down through the valley, bringing with them great quantities of gravel, the 
debris of which still encumbers the channel of this stream. The violence of these floods 
was sometimes so great that they were compelled to stop the machines for some time. 
But in the summer time another inconvenience made its appearance. Little by little the 
drought extended, the flow of waters became insignificant, the mills stood idle, or could 
be run only occasionally for a short time. 

''About 1840, the municipal authorities began to inform their population relative to 
their true interests, and under the protection of a better supervision, the work of re- 
planting has been well managed, and the forest is to-day in successful growth. 

" In proportion as the replanting progressed, the precarious use of the mills ceased, 
and the regulation of the water-courses was totally modified. They now no longer swelled 
into sudden and violent floods, compelling the machines to stop ; but the rise did not be- 
gin until six or eight hours after the rains began. They rose steadily to their maximum, 
and then subsided in the same manner. In short, they were no longer obliged to stop 
work, and the waters were always enough to run two machines, and sometimes three. 

"This example is remarkable in this, that all the other circumstances had remained 
the same, and therefore we could only attribute to the reforesting the changes that oc- 
curred, namely, diminution of the flood at the time of rain, and an increase in its flow 
during common times. 

" We may readily from the preceding account for the part which forests act in heavy 
and long-continued rains as to the floods then produced. Before reaching the soil and 
being completely absorbed, the rain must pass through the dome of verdure formed by 
the leaves, which they wet, thus causing Uie first appropriation of the waters. Then we 
must add the results of great permeability of wooded soil, and the great absorption of 
which the humus of forests is capable, so that until these demands are supplied no water 
can run from the surface. 

" The flow will be slower and with less destructive force than in cleared fields, on 
account of the obstacles of every kind which the liquid mass meets in its course, so that 
it will not reach the bottom of the valley until after the rain which fell in the lower parts 
shall have been discharged.'' 

^^ Review of M, Ydll^ Book : — In a very remarkable work entitled, ^^ Stude sw Us 
inondationSy lewrs cattses et lews effects^** published in 1857, M. Yall^ an engineer oiporUs 
et chatufsees contradicts the efficacy of reforesting as a means of preventij^g inunda|iiQns. 

sees contradicts the efficacy of reforesting as a means of preventing inundation 
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In giving an aocount of this work in the AnnucUes /:>re8tier6S, M« A. F. d' H6ricoart com- 
hats these assertions in a victorious manner, and proves conclusively that the reforesting 
of a portion of the upper basin of the Loire would have prevented the inundation of 

" Accepting," says he, '' the data of M. Valles, who has analyzed with much care the 
various phenomena which characterized the flood of October, 1 B46, in the upper basin of 
the Loire, I will admit with him, that if we could have held back 175,000,000 cubic 
meters of water, the inundation which proved so sad a calamity to France would not have 
presented so painful an event. The upper basin of the Loire, as far as Eoanne, comprises 
an area of 640,000 hectares, (158,080,000 acres) of which at least a third say 213,000 
hectares (52,693,000 acres) might be profitably reforested. This inundation was caused 
by a rain which lasted sixty hours, and poured upon the soil a sheet of water 153 millimeters 
(about six inches) in depth. This portion of the basin of the Loire, therefore, received 
979,200,000 cubic meters of water. On the hypothesis of M. ValUs, 244,800,000 cubic 
meters were absorbed. There accordingly remained for superficial flow 734,400,000 cubic 

''But, let us suppose that in 1846, the 213,000 hectaries above mentioned to hare 
been covered with massive woods, and then let us calculate what would have happened. 
These 213,000 meters would have received as their share 290,000 cubic meters. The ab> 
sorbent qualities of the soil are increased forty per cent, by reforesting, and this operation 
would have withdrawn 130,116,000 cubic meters from the superficial flow, which would 
have reduced the amount upon the retimbered portions to 195,174,000 cubic meters. But 
this liquid mass would have been hindered in its course down the valley, as we have 
above explained, by the passive resistances of every kind which the forest presents, and 
a half, at least, would not have arrived until the other half, which had fallen in other 
parts of the basin had passed ofll We may, ther^ore, conclude that the superficial flow 
would not have exceeded 500,000 cubic meters, and that the calamities occasioned by the 
inundation of 1846 would have been completely prevented by reforesting." 

" Snows RetcMrd the Flow of Waters : — This hindrance in the flow is very apparent 
at a time when the snow is on the ground. When a part of a valley is wooded, the snows 
that fall there lie much longer than in other parts, and while diluvial rains, which ordin- 
arily cause inundations, would be quickly followed by a rise of waters in the cleared region, 
and suddenly augment the liquid mass in that portion, the same rains would affect bat 
slowly the snows that lie in the wooded portions. The swell would come by slow degrees, 
and Uie flood would give no special cause of alarm. 

'' Mountairn Torrents : — But it is especially upon mountains formed of slaty or marly 
sock that the utility of forests is shown in a remarkable degree. When the slopes of 
these lands, which have but slight powers of resistance, are denuded, the rains wear them 
into ravines with the greatest facility, forming partial excavations which extend from 
below upward, i^tid end by forming a vast ravine, into which the lateral rills enter and 
which are themselves ramified in every direction. At every shower the waters plunge 
from every part of the mountain into the channels they have worn, producing a torrent 
that brings down with it masses of rock and scatters them over the plains. When the 
slopes are wooded, nothing of this kind can happen, for the trees protect the soil from 
the shock of the flood and by retaining it with their roots they guard it against erosions. 
They, moreover, break up the waters and hinder them from flowing too rapidly toward 
the valley, and thus, by this double effect, they oppose an invincible obstacle to the for> 
matioh of these devastating torrents. The most effectual obstacle that can be opposed to 
thei^ inundations is, therefore, reforesting, and of all preventive measures this is the 
cheapest, besides offering, above all others, the inestimable advantage of maintaining and 
of. multiplying itself. We need not think that these effects will require a long time to be 
f^lt, for it is not necessary to wait until the woods have come to their full size, and in 
four or five years their effects will begin to be observed. Every replanting on these slopes 

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or plateaux is, in some degree, a conquest over the dominion of the floods, and a reduction 
of the ravages that they may commit. 

" Forests in Excess : — jBut, carried to too great an extent, this operation will work 
precisely against the end which we desire to obtain. If the forests cover too great an 
extent of country, we may fear that the springs or subterranean water-courses may not 
be able to deliver all the rain that falls in a given time before other rains fall, which will 
cover the country with stagnant water. This was the condition of Gaul at the time when 
it was covered with forests, and such is still the condition of certain parts of America, 
which are wooded in this excessive degree. By this means we explain the apparent con- 
tradictions of which the partisahs of reforesting are accused. 

^^ Reforesting where Needed: — It will be necessary, before coming to the desirable 
conclusion as to where the true proportion lies, and which cannot now be known with 
precision, that we should be able to show for each river-basin how much of a reservoir a 
forest should furnish that shall discharge, freely and with regularity, the rains that it re- 
ceives only at intervals. However the case may be, it is evident that the reforesting 
should be carried on upon the mountainous parts of the different basins. It is there, 
practically, that the humid winds condense the vapours that they contain, on account of 
the lower temperature which there prevails, and from thence comes the' superficial flow of 
waters, t}ie absorption of which we wish to increase, and make to appear in the springs, 
whose number and volume we would regulate. It is from thence, in short, the torrents 
begin, which become the forerunners of the inundations, which it is our wish, if possible, 
to control. 

" Certain Changes Beyond ov/r Control : — It may be asked as to whether, these in- 
vestigations being ended, * shall we always be able to guard against these inundations t ' 
Probably not j for it is not in the power of man to prevent atmospheric perturbation, and 
we have never yet found the remedies against the return at times of the warm and humid 
currents of air from the Atlantic, to which the diluvial rains are due which cause these 
damages. But at least, if we do not by reforesting entirely allay these evils, we may,' 
peradventure, considerably reduce their magnitude, and enhance the efficacy of other 
means of defence which have until now been held as quite illusory. 

" Dikes ofnd other Structures : — At the present time most of the works constructed 
for the preventing of these evils, in fact, only increase them. It is held by a great num- 
ber of engineers, that transverse dikes, in order to be of service, should be built in the 
lower parts of the valleys and near the mouths of affluents ; but the first result of this 
would be to cause inundations in these parts which are usually fertile and well-cultivated, 
and where, if they had not been built, they might not have been felt. We might have to 
pay damages for the property injured, and the sums, although considerable, would not 
always .be compensated for by the advantages claimed. This system, moreover, amounts 
only to transferring the evil to another place, without escaping it, and it is at best but a 
secondary, not a radical, remedy. As for longitudinal dikes, not only are they frequently 
unable to withstand, in time of flood, the power of the waters, but they tend to erode the 
river bed, and to create obstacles which stop the materials carried down. Rivers, there- 
fore, become for the country which they traverse a permanent source of danger, for, by a 
moderate flood the plains are often overflowed. Reforesting quite removes this peril, and 
by hindering the erosion of torrents they check the wearing out of the channels of the 
rivers and the obstructions at their mouths from accumulations of sand and gravel. They 
also tend to favour the construction of longitudinal dikes, at points where their utility is 

^* Denuding Power of Rains : — In the torrid zone the degradation of land is generally 
very rapid, but the waste is by no means proportioned to the superior quantity of rain, or 
the suddenness of its fall, the transporting power of water being counteracted by a greater 
luxuriance of vegetation. A geologist, who is no stranger to tropical countries, observes 

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that the softer rocks would speedily be washed away in such regions if the numerous roots 
of plants were not matted together in such a manner as to produce considerable resistance 
to the destructive power of the raina The parasitical or creeping plants also -entwine in 
every possible direction, so as to render the forests nearly impervious, and the trees 
possess forms and leaves best calculated to shoot off the heavy rains, which, when they 
have thus been broken in their fall, are quickly absorbed by the ground beneath, or when 
thrown into the drainage-depressions give rise to furious torrents." 

An eminent English writer says : — 

" When plantations and strips of wood of considerable extent are so arranged as to 
obstruct the wind in its course, shelter is afforded both to cultivated and pasture land, 
and in appearance as well as in productiveness the character of the estate undergoes a 
thorough change. 

" It cannot be doubted by any one acquainted with the losses which are frequently 
sustained on high-lying farms from nipping frosts and withering winds, that in cold, late 
districts, shelter is of the greatest value to the farmer. Various kinds of crops are liable 
at the time of flowering to be seriously injured if exposed to strong winds, and frequently 
cereal crops, which are just beginning to ripen, suddenly assume a premature whiteness 
after being loosened about the roots by severe wind storms ; the crop is imperfectly devel- 
oped and the farmer is the loser. Shelter will, to a very large extent, prevent this evil 
Tien, at harvest, it has been found that a line of plantations running transverse to the 
wind, though at a distance of half-a-mile, has materially diminished the loss from shedding. 
Along the eastern coast of Great Britain, a proper increase of shelter would not fail to 
add several bushels of grain to the yield per acre j and in Caithness and Orkney, where, 
simply froip the want of shelter at first, ordinary timber trees rarely ever become more 
than stinted bushes, the increase would be a great deal more. 

** The only way in which either forest or hedge plants can be started into growth in 
these northern countries is to afford them at once the shelter of a stone wall or earth em- 
bankment, and often when their tops appear above the upper surface of the protecting 
dike, they are cut over by the winds as by a knife. This shows in its extreme aspect 
the importance of that shelter which, in all exposed situations, must in a greater or less 
degree promote the development of crops. 

'* The value of shelter for pasture stock is no less deserving of careful consideration. 
It is Widll known to veterinary practitioners that cattle grazing in high and exposed situa- 
tions are generally more predisposed to consumptive and cutaneous diseases than animals 
pastured on low and sheltered farms. In cold, backward springs, the shelter conferred 
even by a very small plantation is to the sheep-farmer in the highland districts of the 
greatest practical service. On grazings much exposed to withering winds the large num- 
ber of lambs deserted by their mothers in late seasons, in consequence of a scarcity of 
milk, is sometimes a severe loss to the flock-master. But it is well known that on the hill 
farms partially sheltered by growing timber, the percentage of deaths from this cause 
is considerably reduced. The pasturage, when sheltered even in a very partial m^ner, 
is both earlier and more nutritive than if exposed to the full eflects of unchecked winds, 
and in their haunts, flocks rarely fail to indicate the situations which are really benefited 
by plantations, either near at hand or at a considerable distance. It is a well-known 
principle of animal nutrition that the radiation of heat from the system is greater in a 
cold than in a warm temperature, and that more food is necessary in the former situation 
than in the latter to maintain vital heat. If it is practicable, therefore, in the formation 
of plsmtations to elevate the mean temperature of any particular district two or three 
degrees, it follows that it« grazing will not only be improved, but that, in proportion con- 
sumed, fattening animals will make greater progress than under less favourable circum* 

*^ It appears conclusive, therefore, that the relation that exists between forestry and 
agriculture is a very intimate one ; and yet while great exertions are being made to de- 
velop the agricultural resources of the country, the inactivity which has long prevailed 
in respect to the management of timber continues the same, and presents, in some respects, 
an aspect hopeless enough." 

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"Enhanced Value of Fcvrms from Tree-plaviing : — In almost every instance in whieh 
a farm is to be let on lease the offerers are influenced, in a greater degree than they them- 
selves are aware of, by the first general appearance which it presents. If the exposed 
parts are partially under thriving, well-enclosed wood, the whole fields, within the range 
of vision, have such a look of warmth and fertility that, as if by intuition, a few shillings 
more per acre are put upon the land than would otherwise have been given. The amenity 
and value of landeid property are so linked together, that in ordinary cases the one cannot 
be increased without a greater or less addition being made to the other also. It has been 
proved by experience that in proportion as well-laid-out plantations are extended on an 
estate, up to but not beyond a certain point, the yearly value of its farms advance. I 
know property, which, eighty years ago, did not yield more than half the rental derived 
from it now. It was then, according to the testimony of old men in the district, little 
more than an open waste ; but the proprietor began about then to plant extensively, and 
as the plantations increased in number and age, the rental of the estate advanced with 
them, though the farm was anything but good. With right management the same result 
may be expected on every exposed property." 

The following article upon the forests of Europe and America is from J. G. Lefebvre 
(du Hivre) who has long been intimately acquainted with the practical details of the 
timber trade in France : — 

" One of the most important questions that presents itself to the attention of the 
principal producing and consuming countries in the article of wood, is beyond doubt that 
which relates to forests. 

" It is an unfortunate fact, and becoming more and more true, that the clearing of 
woodlands is encouraged, and we may say, stimulated by the formidable and continually- 
increasing general consumption, which leads to proportions vastly exceeding the normal 
annual production, as we shall presently show. There evidently results a most threaten- 
ing danger, which has already been often pointed out with energy, and against which the 
general welfare requires us to adopt on every side the most effectual and decisive mea- 
sures, which should be executed with activity and perseverance, if we would seasonably 
avoid the consequence of a lamentable crisis. 

'< Taking a general review of the immense areas of ground, which various statistical 
works admit to be still covered with forests, it might at first sight appear that our fears 
were taxed by groundless apprehensions of exaggerated evils ; but we feel assured that, 
considering the innumerable quantities of trees cut every year, the number prematurely des- 
troyed, and the number wasted, it must be admitted that we should lose no time in trying 
to remedy, as speedily as possible, a condition of affairs so much to be deplored. 

*< We ought not to forget that in addition to the economical value of the forests, 
taken as a part of the wealth of the country, and in the welfare of its inhabitants, their 
protection in a climatic relation becomes a necessity of the first importance. No one 
is so ignorant as not to know that the inconsiderate destruction of trees reduces the 
water-courses, and causes disastrous inundations. We believe that the multiplied bene- 
fits derived from the presence of forests are not enough appreciated, such as the sanitary 
improvement of marshy places, the moderation of the temperature, the protection of open 
plains against violent winds which have their force broken and their currents divided by 
the trees ; and, finally, the prevention of prolonged droughts, which too often desolate 
regions of country where the wood has been taken off, as has been frequently proved by 
examples down to the present time. 

" We should also not fail to remark that we often find tracts of land masked by a 
thick covering of verdure, that are in reality nothing but immense wastes occasioned by 
fires or storms, and which contain little but the wrecks and remnants of trees, and are 
sometimes overrun with wood insects, some species of which in a little while may destroy 
whole forests, as was lately seen in Bohemia, where a million of cubic toises of wood were 
entirely destroyed. 

" If we now approach the question of production and consumption in the principal 
countries of Europe that are now occupying our attention, we shall fimi conditions of a 

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nature to convince the most incredulous as to the duty of the state foresters to seek 
without further delay for such remedies as the situation demands, so great is the actual 

A most valuable paper bearing on this point was read at the Cincinnati Congress, by 
the Hon. V. Colvin, Superintendent N. Y. S. Adirondack Survey. I wrote to Washington 
for this paper, but it was not in print. I can therefore only give my readers the abstract 
given by the Forestry Congress Commissioners sent from Ontario : — 

" The influence of forests upon the water supply of any given drainage area is 
directly proportional to the rainfall, and it is from the standpoint of evaporation and 
rainfall that the effect of forests must be considered. 

" The data for the investigation must be searched for in the east, where the des- 
truction of forests has been great. Here, rather than on the frontiers of civilization, we 
should look for traces of climatic change, if the destruction of forests lead to any change. 

" The records of the United States Signal Service of the mean monthly precipitation, 
in this country for many years had been searched by the lecturer for statistical informa- 
tion on this subject, and he had based upon these records a series of computations which 
showed where the greatest irregularities in the monthly rainfall occurred. 

** These differences were presented in tabular form, and showed a favourable uniform 
monthly precipitation of rain in the middle Eastern States. Here it is known that the 
approximate lunit of safety of forest-cutting has been reached, as torrential action began 
to show itself in sections where much timber had been cut away. 

**The topography of the country was shown to have a most important bearing upon 
the quantity effect of forests upon the rainfall ; the mountain ranges, when forest-covered 
and extending across the path of the south winds, acting as powerful condensers of 
moisture. The way in which limbs of trees entangle and kill the wind, to which a house 
or block of houses forms hardly any obstacle, was explained in an interesting manner, 
and was shown to be dependent on the angle of incidence. 

'*The true relationship of atmospheric electricity to rainfall was traced through the 
reactions of the correlated force, so often incorrectly termed "latent heat." The limbs, 
boughs and leaves of the forest were (when considered mechanically) natural machinery 
most wonderfully adapted to the purpose of grasping upon the atmosphere, and thus 
causing those dynamic changes which induce precipitation of moisture. 

" The forests were, in fact, most singularly complicated condensers, and performed 
their peculiar office in the atmosphere far better than the most skilfully contrived alembic 
of the chemist. 

" Forests were shown to be essential to a uniform rainfall when existing in the 
proper localities, as determined by the great local meteorological laws. 

** A knowledge of the path of storms in any locality,' and of the topography — ^the 
elevations and depressions, the rivers, marshes and lakes — was shown to be essential to 
any exact estimate of the limit of safety of the cutting of forests. The only way in 
which the wide-spread knowledge necessary could be obtained would be by a general 
system of observation by farmers and others throughout the whole country, of the great 
facts of the local rainfall, direction of winds, etc., which could be easily done with little 

** With these observations, and an accurate system of topogra|)hical and forest maps 
(which every State should have made), it would be possible to make close estimates as to 
wherf forests must be preserved, where replanted and where they might be safely cut. 
The lecturer told of his personal experiences on the mountain peaks of the Adirondacks 
and the Rocky Mountains, traced the origin of rain from its evaporation by the sun's 
rays from the sea to its condensation to cloud — and showed how Buy Ballot's law rea- 
dily enabled meteorologists knowing the path of storms, from a mere knowledge of the 
present direction of the wind and the area of the last high or low pressure, to determine 
the probable maximum or minimum liable to follow, and probable change in the direction 
of the winds ; but that the location of forests greatly modified the exact application of 

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this law, and rendered imperative that we should study the path of storms on exact topo- 
graphical maps giving the location of forests, and that then only should we be able to 
make exact predictions." 


To obtain knowledge on this head, no better source of instruction is available than 
the extensive report made on the subject by Captain "Walker, a gentleman who passed 
nine months on the continent, by direction of the European Government, for that purpose. 
I cannot copy his voluminous report, but will give a short review of what refers to each 
country visited, and anything likely to be useful for our purposes here in Canada. The 
Captain first visits Hanover, describing the system in which territory to some extent 
describes all, for he tells, us that the system there may be considered as typical. He gives 
then, the administration there, and a brief statistical record of the others, except in those 
points where they decidedly differ. Now, as to Hanover. 


Its forests under State management amount to 900,000 acres. Some are Govern- 
ment» some Church, some belong to municipalities or communes. Government manages 
the forests by officers appointed, while the community pay four cents per acre towards 
the pay of the officers. The method appears to be that of giving the owners as much 
wood, pasture, or litter for manure, as their original right to the forest entitled them to ; 
but to give it at the hands of government officials. If the forest is of sufficient extent to 
employ a special officer, the commune, instead of the four cents, are charged his pay and 
aUowances, as well as other working charges. 

The government forests are about 600,000 acres of the abovd, and the cost of working 
and all expenses is about $650,000 annually, the receipts being $1,500,000, and the profit 
therefore $850,000, or, taking the actual figures, about $1.50 per acre per annum. This, 
of course, takes no account of the value of the land, or what it might rent or sell for if 

Hanover is a province of Prussia. The head office is therefore in BerKn. The 
Forest establishment of Hanover consist of one forest director and over-forest master, 
who is also a councillor ; twenty forest masters in charge of circles or divisions, forming 
also a board of management in all forest matters ; one hundred and twelve over- foresters 
in charge of forest districts (revier) averaging seven or eight thousand acres each ; four 
hundred and three foresters who assist the over-foresters, and have charge of portions of 
a district ; three hundred and foijby-three overseers, under-foresters, etc., employed in 
watching and protecting the forest, and supervising the work which is executed by hired 
weekly or daily labour, or on contract under supervision of the fixed establishments. A 
cash-keeper is attached to each over-forester, who receives and disburses all moneys out 
of the forest cash chest, with which the over-forester has nothing to do, although his 
accounts should, of course, tally with those of the cash-keeper. For payment of labourers 
etc., he gives orders on the cash-keeper, whose books are examined by the forest-master 

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in charge of the division, and accounts rendered to the head office in Hanover, and thence 
to Berlin. 

All the forests have been surveyed, valued, and divided into blocks in this manner : — 

Besides those already enumerated, there is, for the sole purpose of measuring, 
valuing, and framing working plans for the forest, a superintendent, draughtsmen, and 
clerks, generally practical foresters, and a staff of surveyors and forest valuators, who 
are generally candidates for the position of over-forester. 

When a forest was about to be taken in hand and worked systematically, a sur- 
veyor and valuator were despatched to the spot, the former working under the directions 
ol the latter, who placed himself in communication with the local forest officer and the 
inhabitants interested, and obtained from them all the information in his power. The 
surveyor first surveyed the whole district, then the different divisions, as pointed out by 
the valuator, who defined them according to the description of the timber standing, and 
any conditions affecting the nature of the trees to be grown in futura While the stti> 
veyor did this, the valuator valued the trees, formed a register of rights with a view to 
commutation, considered the best plan of working the forest, the roads, in fact, all which 
enabled him to form a plan for the head office, and a subordinate plan to be handed over 
to the executive officer as his " standing orders." 

The valuator and surveyor return to head-quarters, and prepare the maps and plans, 
which are submitted to the board of forest-masters, the forest-director and other council- 
lors of the Finance Department, who are thus prepared to listen to any objections made 
by communities or individuals, which are very rarely made now, as the people have 
learned that the action of the officers is not adverse to their interests, and are willing to 
allow them to settle matters. 

The executive officer has thus in his hands maps showing each division of the forest 
tract in his charge, and instructions — the quantity to be felled yearly, the extent to be 
planted, the state in which the forest should be ten, twenty or a hundred years after the 
plans were made, all calculated — so that the over-forester has only to carry out the 
instructions given him, allowance being made for unavoidable difficulties — failure of seed, 
occurrence of storms, and the like. 

The forest-masters have no executive work, but control four to six over-foresters, of 
whose labours they make frequent reports to the Director (both in forest and office work). 
The over-foresters give annual reports of operations. They spend most of their time in 
the forest, supervising the felling, planting, sowing, thinning, carting and selling of tim- 
ber. The laying down of roads is done by a forest officer, but the actual work is carried 
out by the local officer, who has also much office work, giving grazing licenses, etc., and 
preparations of returns, but his work is out of doors compared to diat of the forest-master, 
who has more office work : comparing operations and rates in the districts, collecting 
statistics, settling disputes, and as a member of the forest committee, revising working 

The main object aimed at in any scientific forestry is, to convert the natural forest^ 
consisting of trees, young and old, good and bad, ioo thick and too thin, into blocks of 
trees of the better description, of the same age, and capable of being worked — ^that is, 
thinned out, felled, and reproduced, or replanted, in suocessioD, a block being taken in 

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hand each year. In carrying out such a system, considerations must be attended to, such 
as the relation of the block to the whole forest system ; the needs of the people in timber, 
firewood, leaves for manure and pasturage ; the soil, the situation as regards winds (which 
must be attended to in felling to lessen damage), and precautions against insects, fire, 
trespass or theft. 

The plans need revising every twenty years, though it is marvellous to notice to what 
an extent the original scheme has generally answered. « 

After a forest has (to give some idea of management) by thinning, planting, and so 
forth, been gradually got into perfect order as described, the system of natural reproduc- 
tion forms great part of the German method. It is as follows : — 

The rotation and periods are fixed in the working plan. For beech ^'hochwald" it 
is in Hanover one hundred and twenty years, divided into six periods of twenty years 
each, that is to say, when the forest has been brought into order there should be nearly 
equal areas under crop of trees in each of the six periods, that is, from one year to twenty ; 
from twenty years to forty, and so on. When a block arrives in the last period, felling 
is commenced by what is called a preparatory clearing, followed by a " clearing for light" 
in the first year after seed has fallen (the beech seeds every fourth or fifth year) with the 
object of-^lst, preparing the ground for the seed ; 2nd, allowing it to germinate ; 3rd, 
affording light to the young seedlings. If there is a good seed-year and sufficient rain, 
the ground should be covered with seedlings in two or three years after the first clearing ; 
but it is better generally to wait for a second seed year, and aid nature by hand-sowing, 
transplanting from patches of many to the barer spots, and turning up the turf to give 
the seeds a better chance of germinating. 

When the ground is well covered the old trees are felled and carefully removed, so 
as to do as little damage as possible to the new crop, and the block recommences life, so 
to speak, nothing further being done till the first thinning. The time allowed betweein 
the first and final clearings is from eight to fifteen years. But in many provinces they 
do away with this system, and remove the old trees so gradually that there can hardly be 
said to be any clearing at aU, the new crop of trees being well advanced before the last of 
the old trees is removed. 

In these forests can be seen all the periods of growth — ^nurseries and schools for 
seedlings, which are transferred thither, at the age of two to four years, from the seed- 
beds, and are pruned and transplanted as often as seems required till finally planted out, 
sometimes not till twelve or fourteen years old There are many methods of planting 
adopted here. The steepest and most rocky sides of the hills are covered with forests, 
which have been created by the labours of the Forest Department. In many such 
plac^, where even the few handfuls of soil placed round the young tree had to be carried 
some distance, it is not contended that the first plantations will yield a pecuniary profit, 
but the improvement in climate by the retention of the moisture, and reclamation of 
large tracts formerly barren and unproductive, is taken into account ; besides which the 
dropping of leaves and needles from the trees will ere long create a soil and vegetation, 
and insure the success of plantations in future years, and consequent surplus. 

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Prussia has twenty millions of acres of forests, ten millions of which are private, 
and the remainder, with which we have more to do, state, commercial, and ecclesiastical. 

Of these the income is $14,000,000, and the expenses $7,500,000, leaving $6,500,000 
clear. This will not show much,. in fact not more than 65c. per acre, but there are other 
returns of more than mere yearjy revenue importance. When it is considered that this 
result is arrived at without trenching on the capital or stock of timber in the forests, 
which, on the contrary, is being increased and improved in every province of the kingdom ; 
and that the indirect value to the people of many forest privileges, which they exerciae 
free of charge, must be very great, not to mention the benefit to all in the shape of 
public recreation grounds and an improved climate, some idea may be arrived at of the 
enormous value and benefit such a system of state forests must confer on PrnsBia. 

The focests, as already stated concerning Hanover, form part of the finance depart- 
ment, and are presided over by an overland-forest-master, and ministerial director, aided 
by a revenue councillor and joint ministerial director, and a numerous council or board. 

There are two forest academies, one near Berlin and one in Hanover. The overland- 
forest-master is curator of the academies, and at the head of each is an over-forest-master, 
who is aided by a numerous staff of professors and assistant-professors. 

There are twelve provinces in Prussia, divided into thirty circles, and to ea<;h an 
over-forest-master, who is appointed to represent the forest department in the council of 
local administration, and is aided by councillors and by the forest masters as a board, to 
represent forest interests in the government. Next in order come the forest-masters, 
numbering one hundred and eight, in charge of divisions with an average area of sixty 
thousand acres, and then the executive officers, seven hundred and six over-foresters, 
to each of whom is 7,000 acres, and to each of whom is attached a cash-keeper, and 
three thousand six hundred and forty-six foresters, or overseers, with ranges of a thousand 
to three thousand acres. 

At the academy near Berlin are seven professors with assistants. There is an 
experimental garden attached, with an over-forester in charge of the technical portion, 
and professors for the meteorological, zoological, and chemical sections. The number of 
students averages sixty-five. The varied apparatus includes a building where the seed is 
dried and separated from the cones, large seed-beds of spruce, fir, and willow, full oppor- 
tunities of transplanting seedlings, and examples of every kind of trees for botanical 

There is here a museum, rich in specimens of all sorts of birds, animals, and insects 
found in the forests. In cases where the animal or insect does damage to trees, speci- 
mens of the branch, bark, leaf, or cone, in a healthy state, and after being attacked, are 
exhibited close to each, so that the students can see at a glance the nature of the damage, 
and connect it with the animal which causes it. Thus we have squirrels, rats, beavers, 
mice, set up gnawing the barks, grubbing at the roots, etc. Insects are shown in the 
several stages of their existence — ^larvae, chrysalis, caterpillar, moth, with their rami- 
fications in the stem or branches of the tree. These, with specimen blocks of almost all 
descriptions of timber, form a most instructive collection. There is a forest district 

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attached, remarkable for the growth of Scotch fir and spruce on a poor sandy soil, and in 
spite of repeated attacks by insects. 

Nothing is more remarkable than the extent of study required from forest candi- 
dates, and the number of years they are content to spend in studying or waiting an 
appointment. The would-be over-forester, which is the lowest of the gazetted appoint^ 
ments, must pass certain terms at a Government school, a year in a district with an over- 
forester, an examination as forest-pupil, two years at a forest academy, an examination 
in scientific forestry and land surveying. He is then a forest-candidate. Then two 
years practical study, nine months of it doing duty as an actual forester ; then another 
examination. He is now an over-forester candidate. The first examination tests his 
theory ; the second his practice. Then he will be occasionally employed in the academies, 
or in chaise of a district, only then getting allowances. After five years of this he may 
look for steady employment. 

Thus five years without pay are given in study; five in probation with but meagre 
pay when employed, and the time is often longer, beforQ> regularly installed. Yet so 
great is the desire for Government — especially forest — service, that there are numerous 

The qualifications for admission into the subordinate grades — forester, sub- forester, 
overseer — have a military tendency. Candidates, after two years in the forest, enter a 
jager battalion, and bind themselves for twelve years' service. After three years they 
obtain leave, and are employed in the forest as huntsmen or gamekeepera After eight 
years they must have passed the forester's test, which consists in six months' charge of a 
district, and an examination. At the end of twelve years they are discharged with a 
certificate entitling th^em to employment in the forest establishments. The appointments 
are much sought after, and in 1867 there were two hundred and twenty-one applicants 
for one hundred and forty-five vacancies ; but many are absorbed by communal and private 

Id some provinces the Prussian Government has certain rights concerning the man- « 
agement of even private forests — in others none. 

While on the subject of Prussia, it may be well here to insert some extracts from a 
letter received from Baron Von Steuben, a Prussian nobleman, now Koyal Chief Forester 
of the German Empire, by the Forestry Congress, at Cincinnati, in April of last year. 
He remarks : — 

" There can be no doubt that every country requires a certain quantity of well-stocked 
woods, not only to supply the demands for building material and fuel, but more especially 
to secure suitable meteorological conditions, to preserve the fertility of the soil, and out 
of sanitary considerations. The ratio of the minimum quantity and judicious local distri- 
bution of the indispensable forest to the aggregate area cannot be expressed by a universal 
rule, but the same can only be approximated by scientific investigation. Above all 
things, it is essential to prevent forest destruction where such would injuriously alffect the 
fertility of the soil. It is important, then, to preserve and to cultivate judiciously those 
forests which stand at the head-waters and on the banks of .the larger streams, because, 
through their indiscriminate destruction, fluctuations in the stage of water, sand-bars, and 
inondELtions of arable lands are occasioned. It appears also necessary to preserve and 
properly to cultivate woods in quicksands, or the summits and ridges, as well as on the 
steep sides of mountains, along the sea coasts, and. other exposed localities. 

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" In Germany, and especially in my more narrow-bounded Fatherland, Prussia, it is 
regarded as of the greatest importance, not only to preserve the forests already there, but 
to extend them as much as possibla 

''In the National Appropriation Bill large sums are set apart for the purchase of 
such lands as are unfit for cultivation, and for utilizing the same by planting trees. 

" With reference to forests owned by private individuals, they are not restrained in 
the use of their forests, and may, according to their own judgment, clear the same and 
till the soil, in short, do what they like, and yet there may be certain restrictions placed 
on the free use of the same as soon as danger to the common welfare is feared ; these 
restrictions are prescribed by the law of July 5, 1875, relative to forest protection. 

" This law is applicable in cases : 

"1. Where, by reason of the sandy nature of the soil, adjoining lands, or public 
grounds, natural or artificial courses, are in danger of being covered with sand. 

" 2. Where, through the washing away of the soil, or through the formation of cascades 
in open places on the ridges of hill and on hillsides, the arable lands, streets, or buildings 
living below are in danger of being covered with earth or stone, or of being flooded ; or 
the lands or public grounds, or buildings lying above are in danger of sliding. 

"3. Where, through the destruction of the forests along the banks of canals or natural 
streams, riparian lands are i% danger of caving, or buildings hitherto protected by the 
woods are in danger of iceflows. 

"4. Where, through the destruction of forests, rivers are in danger of a diminution of 
the stage of the water. 

"5. Where, through the destruction of forests in open places and near the lakes, 
neighbouring fields are seriously exposed to the detrimental influences of winds. 

'' In the cases above mentioned, which have been copied verbatim from the statute 
book, the manner of use as well as the culture of forests may be legally ordered, in order 
to prevent those dangers where the dangers to be averted are considerably in excess of 
the damages which would result to the owner by reason of the restrictions.'' 

Saxony. ^ 

The state forests are nearly 400,000 acres, worked at an expense of $500,000, receiv- 
ing $1,750,000, leaving a clear rental of $3 per acre. The expenditure is planting, drain- 
ing, roads, improvement of inferior woods, felling, transport, killing insects, etc. About 
^ 5,000 acres are planted yearly, at an average cost of $7.50 per acre. 

The fixed establishment is one inspector, fifteen over-forest-masters, one hundred and 
twenty district foresters, sixteen cash-keepers, thirteen engineers, twenty-seven foresters, 
and eighty-three sub-foresters. 

There is a forest academy at Tharandt, with a separate staff of professors. 

The system of planting now principally experimented on is much the same as that 
previously described, the young trees being several feet high before the old trees are all 
removed. One operation is noticeable. It was decided to convert a mixed hardwood 
forest, patchy and irregular, with impoverished soU, in 1820, into a coniferous forest, and 
maps were drawn showing what it would be in eighty years. Private intersecting lands 
have been bought up, and by 1900 the ideal chart will be actual. Already, in place of a 
straggling wood, irregularly covered with timber trees of inferior growth, we have now a 
compact close forest, regularly wooded in sections of different ages, principaUy iqpruce and 
Scotch fir, but containing also fine oak, ash and beech, with straight and clean stems. In 
many cases the young oaks have been left where pines were planted, and the introduction 
of the latter has had a wonderfully good effect on the oaks. 

All private rights were abolished and compensated in these forests by a Bill passed 

in 1832. 

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The state forests are 3,000,000 acres. They return, after paying all expenses, about 
11.50 per acre per annum. About 30,000 acres are planted or sown annually, taking 
35,000,000 plants and 1,000,000 lbs. seed. Persons found guilty of breach of forest rules 
have been punished by enforced labour in 'the woods. Private forest rights are being 
bought up by the Government. 

The system of management is much the same as that previously described. There is 
a forest academy at Aschafienburg, with one hundred and sixty-five students. 

It will be interesting to notice the injury and process of repair in the fine forests of 
the Spessart in Bevaria. The deterioration was caused by felling the forest trees as soon 
as, or before, they were mature, the impoverishment of the soil by the removal of leaves 
and litter, and the allowing dense underwood to grow unchecked. Inferior trees got the 
upper hand and prevented the growth of good, while they drained the already impover- 
ished soil and gave nothing in return. Early in the present century the matter attracted 
attention, and every means have since been adopted to grow oaks, beech, and coniferse. 
The result is, though not yet equal to the uniformity of other forests, nowhere can 
one find finer clumps and individual trees. Inferior trees will soon be rare in the whole 
forest. In remote portions where the humus had not been destroyed, the growth of 
beech and oak is truly magnificent, tracts of 120-year old beech and 300-year old oaks 
being common, the latter with clear trunks running up to a hundred feet high. When we 
compare these with other portions where the crippled and stunted appearance of the trees 
shows the effect of unregulated grazing and loss of litter, burning of the decayed wood, 
and forest theft and mischief, or the soil and vegetation, the result is marked. The cir- 
cumstances, says the Indian Commissioner, are analogous with what has gone on in India 
for centuries, and is still moro or less permitted. The vast extent of forests, which once 
clothed the hiU sides and extended far out on the plains, and the luxuriant growth of the 
tropics, have hitherto, or until the last two years, prevented the gradual deterioration of 
our forests being marked or felt, but the subject has now attracted attention, and none 
too soon. If any have doubts in the matter, let them visit the Spessart, study the history 
of its forests and judge for themselvea 

The forests are sharply protected by law, the average number of prosecutions annu- 
ally being thirty per thousand acres. The crimes are mischief to wood, pasture, grass, 
straw, and miscellaneous. 


Scientific forestry is not so far advanced as in Germany, but officials are busily intro- 
ducing a reorganization, by means of which, there is no doubt, it will soon be on a par 
with other states. 

The state forests have been largely sold to meet state necessities, but there still 
remain nearly 2,000,000 productive acres, which yield, however, after expenses are paid, 
little over twenty-five cents per acre. 

The existing establishments of forestry are not uniform, but there are about twelve 
hundred employees, of whom twepty-two are forest-masters. Some of these have almost 

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sinecures, while others have six times too maoh to do, and it is the same with those in the 
subordinate ranks. The forest academy is at Mariabrunn, near Vienna. There are about 
• thirty-five students. 

The collections are fine, possessing specimens of all instruments and appliances made 
use of in felling, squaring, sawing, carting, and preparing timber, models of sawmills and 
machinery of all descriptions, plans of river beds improved and embanked for floating, 
sluices of all sorts, dams and piers for directing rafts in their course and catching fire- 
wood, models of rafts, and specimens of home and foreign timber of all kinds. The dam- 
age done by animals and insects is also exhibited here comprehensively. There is also a 
forest garden attached to the academy for the instruction of the students. 

The staff of the academy consists of the director, thirteen professors and assistant 
professors, with subordinates in the account office, laboratory, etc. There is also a forest 
school at Bruhl, for training young men (of whom eight were there) as practical foresters. 

The greater number of those trained here are intended for private and not for Gov- 
ernment service, their expenses for board and lodging being paid by noblemen and large 
proprietors, from whose estates they come, and to whom they return as forest officers and 
workmen. The state maintains the schools, and pays the professors' salaries, and there 
are no extra fees. This cannot fail to assist the intelligent management of the private 
forests of the empire, which are very extensive. The absence of numerous candidates for 
the government forest service, and preference for private employment is noteworthy, when 
compared with the opposite state of things in Prussia. The irregular promotion, lack of 
system, and low salaries in the Austrian forest service are the explanation. 

The Austrian crown forests have been neglected ; they are patchy with a low and 
decreasing yield per acre. There has been till now no attempt at rotation of blocks, or 
working in periods. As is found in India, a glance at the outskirts of the forests would 
lead one to suppose it fairly stocked with timber, but a more careful inspection proves 
that this is not the case, and that only in the valleys and more remote portions, where the 
soil is particularly good and the axe has not been so frequent in its inroads, is there a fair 
and regular crop. 

Herr Schuppitch, the present director, is trying hard to change matters, &nd is 
changing the hardwood crop, which has exhausted the soil for that class, with pine growths, 
which besides grow quicker and pay better. He is^also dividing into blocks and periods, 
and planting up many bare or ill-covered tracts, where natural reproduction is impossible 
owing to the absence of standard trees. 

Grand Duchy op Baden. 

We shall now notice a private forest, that of the Prince of Furstenburgh, in the Black 
Forest. The receipts and expenditure are not obtainable, as are the public ones, but we 
are informed that the forests are economically worked, and that the liberal sums expended 
on road-making, fitting rivers for floating, housing foresters, &c., were well repaid by the 
facilities secured, and contentment and zeal of the employees. In the case of this, as of 
other private forests, it is evident that a private individual is not burdened with consi- 
derations of policy and public good as in a State. The forests are, therefore, worked 
with the best profit compatible with their retention as capital. 

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There are about 72,000 acres, in charge of eighteen foresters and over-foresters, who 
of course have many subordinates. The method employed is the slow felling and conti- 
nual reproduction before mentioned, a block being after forty years in clearing before all 
the old are replaced by new trees. Attention and intelligence are necessary, for the seed 
will not grow nor the seedlings flourish without enough light, and the forest officer must 
watch that they get it ; and again much greater care is needed in felling and hauling 
away when the trees are surrounded by lofty saplings and young trees than when the 
seedlings of the next crop are not more than a foot or two high. In this the axe-men 
of the Black Forest are adepts, and the damage very slight to what it would be in other 

It may be useful to describe their manner of bringing timber down the rivers. 
It cannot here be done when the stream is in flood ; in fact, the less water in it the 
better so long as sufficient is stored up above to float the rafts. Reservoirs are made, 
and the water poured into the river bed when the raft is ready. The streams are often 
small, of only fifteen or twenty feet in width, and have to be prepared for floating, by 
being cleared of any large rocks or boulders, and '* sleepered," if we may use the expres- 
sion, by pieces of wood firmly fixed in the bed of the stream every few yards. These 
prevent the formation of holes in the bed, and serve for the raft to slide on if it touches 
the bottom. The firsi impression of the Indian commissioner, when he saw the float, 
composed of stems from twenty to sixty feet in length tied together with withes at the 
ends, and lying zigzag in the bed of a mountain stream, up and down which they extended 
sixteen hundred feet, was that it was simply impossible they ever could be floated down 
the stream, with all its windings, and over the locks and rocks which occurred pretty 
frequently. It contained 880 stems, eight or ten of which abreast formed as it were a 
link in the raft. There were thirty links, not fastened laterally, but only at both ends 
to the next link. The breadth is greatest at about two-thirds from the prow, which is 
narrow, and consist of only three stems abreast, with in front of all a piece formed of 
old wood and raised out of water like the bow of a whale-boat, so as to lead the raft, and 
the largest and heaviest stems placed in the brpadest part and towards the stern or 
hinder part, which does not taper at all. There are two or three breaks, by which the 
speed is slacked or the raft stopped if needed. When all is ready, the water from above is 
let loose, and the raft, perhaps not now lying in more than a foot of water, begins to float 
a little, but is not let go till two- thirds of the water is passed, as it is a curious fact that 
when let go, if there is much descent, it travels faster than the water, and has to be 
stopped to let the water get ahead again. The raft has eight or ten men and boys, one or 
two of whom stand by the master at the chief break, on which the safety of all depends. 

When let go it is exceedingly curious to see the forward part dart off at the rate of 
fiv» miles an hour, and the several links which have been lying zigzag and perhaps high 
and dry uncoil themselves and follow in its wake till the whole dashes along at great 
speed and apparently uncontrolled. Accidents are rare, as they are well trained (lads of 
six or eight can be seen going down in miniature floats) ; but for one not accustomed to it, 
it is nearly impossible to stay on the raft at all, as it literally springs out of water on 
touching a rock, dashes round a rapid turn, or jumps a weir with a fall of several feet 
Forty or fifty miles can be got over in a day if stoppages to let the water ahead are not 
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Remarks on Germany. 

The Indian commissioner proceeds to remark- on the German system of forestry. 
Perhaps it will be here admissible that I make one myself. Let me say that, when we 
consider the immense extent and rapid growth of forests in India, the vast amount in 
Grovemment hands, and yet find that they are so rapidly deteriorating as to necessitate 
the despatch of commissioners to Europe to learn the methods of preserving the forest, 
it is likely that Canada has just as much reason to bestir herself in the matter. Let us 
notice also, by some of the valuable tables Capt. Walker has furnished, that in Germany 
and Prussia alone there are nearly two hundred and fifty millions of acres of forests. 
We will well have already understood, by the foregoing pages, how different the great 
mass of the^ forests, with their great reserves of growing and well cared for trees, 
planned and prepared for many years, so that the forest can be depended on to give its 
regular and annual yield of valuable timber, in perpetuity, are from our Canadian 
reserves, which are cut without regard to the future, and are fast disappearing before the 
combined assault of the settler and the lumberman. 

On asking, where are we to look for a model or precedent on which to work, he 
replies ** To Germany, where the management of forests by the State has been carried 
on for hundreds of years. Not the mere planting of a few hundred acres here, or 
reserving a few thousand acres there, but a general system of forest management, com- 
mencing by a careful survey, stock-taking, definition and commutation of all rights and 
servitudes, careful experiments in the rate of growth, the best soil for each description 
of tree ; in fact, in every branch of the subject, and resulting in what we find to-day, 
hundreds of thousands of acres mapped, divided into periods and blocks, and worked to 
the best advantage both with regard to present and future, and the annual yield of which 
now, and for many years to come, is known and fixed to within a few hundred cubic 

''The great difference,'' says the commissioner, "in climate and local conditions 
between India and Germany would, doubtless, necessitate important modifications, but I 
can see no reason why the broad principles of organization and forest management should 
not be applied with success to our Indian forests, that is, gradually feeling our way as 
regards the best mode for the forest, and the wishes and interests of the people and the 

I would here remark that this is still more applicable to Canada, as our climate 
presents no difference of moment. 

" I do not think," he continues, " that we have much to learn from the Germans 
with regard to the planting and rearing of young trees ; but it is with regard to the 
best method of managing groups or plantations that I consider we may, with advantage, 
take a leaf out of their book. For instance, I would certainly introduce, in an experi- 
mental manner, and on a very small scale, their system of rotation, clearing, and periods, and 
endeavour to bring forward a second crop before the first is off the ground, encourage the 
growth of the better descriptions, and keep down the least valuable, so as gradually to 
arrive at groups of trees of the same age, description, and class, and eventually at blocks 
worked in rotation, and containing always a sufficient stock of crop coming on to meet 
the requirements of future years. To arrive at all this the most careful observations and 
experiments will have to be made as to the rate of growth and yield per acre of each 
description of forest, the conditions under which trees grow best and form the most 
timber, some requiring close and some open planting, some nurses and some not ; some, 
like the oak, requiring a great deal of light, while some, like the beech, do best for many 
years in the shade. All tibese points, and many more, demand attention, and till they are 

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settled we shall be merely groping in the dark. In fact, I think it may be taken for 
granted that all we will do in the way of forestry in the Madras Presidency, during the 
present century at least, will, after all, be but experimentalizing, which fact, however, 
need in no way delay the demarkation, survey, and settlement of the forests.'' 

It may be said here that, if it be necessary to commence at once, in India, it la 
probably more necessary in Canada, where the process of growth is so much less rapid. 

Concerning the capabilities of German foresters, the Captain says : — '' An over- 
forester, and even many of the foresters and overseers, can tell the name, local and 
botanical, of any tree, shrub, alid plant, classify it, and state its uses ; name and classify 
every beetle and insect in the forest, and know whether they are harmless or destructive 
to trees, in what shape they do damage, and what are the best known preventive measures ; 
inform you of the nature of the soil, and to what period the formation belongs ; what 
trees will grow best, and why. All this is known thoroughly, theoretically and 

"Then as to the district, the exact yield, rate of growth, and annual increase in 
value of each block is thoroughly known and can be put down in figures at each moment 
by the over-forester, who can tell at the commencement of each year how much timber he 
is going to cut and sell, and from what parts of the forest it is to come, how many acres 
have to be partially cleared for natural reproduction, how many to be planted, sown, 
thinned, or planted up. The mere details of all this are left, as a rule, entirely to the 
subordinates, who thoroughly understand them. 

''The forest-masters in charge of divisions possess not only the theoretical and 
scientific knowledge acquired in the forest academy, and the practical experience gained 
while they were over-foresters in charge of a district, but the more extended knowledge 
and wider views from their larger field for observation and comparison of causes and 
results. They are then qualified to decide most points, revise working plans, and super- 
vise operations generally, whilst settling complaints and complications in connection with 
the forest administration, advising the local head of the department, and compiling 
valuable reports and statistical information." 

The British Isles. 

There are many forests, both Grown and private, in the British Islands, concerning 
which, as they appear to be managed on different systems, I shall merely state such points 
as seem to hslve some bearing on possible operations in Canada, or may show the progress 
made in late years in planting and foresting operations. 

In the New Forest, Hampshire, containing 91,000 acres, much has been planted 
with Scotch fir and larch in 1853, and with oak in 1857. What is noticeable is that the 
first, planted as nurses, are planted here so much before the others (both are elsewhere 
frequently planted at once). It is done to establish the nurses, and give shelter from the 
cutting winds prevalent here. They transplant here from the first nursery to another — 
the last one near the ultimate destination of the trees. 

The Dean Forest, in Gloucestershire, has 22,000 acres, in alL The commissioner 
visited twelve plantations here, ranging from 1844 to the present year. Nurses and 
hardwood are put out together. 

In Scotland, the nurseries of Lawaon & Sons, near Edinburgh, are noticed. They 
contain 270 acres. There were thirty millions of coniferae seedlings in the beds. The 
pirvus pinaster is largely used for planting on light sandy soils near the sea. 

Before sowing or forming the nursery bed the land is trenched to fourteen inches, 

and a crop of potatoes taken off to clean it. In the following spring the seed beds are 

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laid out, and the upper soil oarefall j prepared to suit the nature of the trees which are to 
be sown. Most of the conif ersB prefer a light dry soil with a considerable proportion of 
sand, and this has the advantage that the seedlings are easily shaken out and freed from 
each other for transplanting. In the case of Scotch fir and larch, the seed is sown in 
May or June, and left in the seed bed for two seasons. The seedlings are then planted 
out in lines fourteen inches apart, and three inches between each plant, are left thuB for 
sometimes two years, and then planted out for good. It is thought better, if the frost 
can be prevented from killing the seedlings, to sow in April, and transplant one year 
after, or even the same autumn, as soon as the leaf bud is hard. The spruce requires two 
years in the seed beds, as its growth is slower than that of larch. The piniM pinaUeTf 
aus^riaca, and laHcio are sown in May or June, and transplanted the same autumn into 
rows six inches apart, the plants close together. Hence they are transplanted the fol- 
lowing autumn, into rows fourteen inches apart, where they are left one or two years 
before being planted out. It is considered an object to shorten tap-roots and encourage 
laterals. (This last idea, it will be noticed, may assist the tree; but not that main object 
of forest preservation, the connection between the upper and lower strata.) 

The Earl of Seafield's woods, in Strathspey, give an instance of the rapidity with 
which planting is going on in Scotland. There are 60,000 acres, of which half are 
in timber, yet so young, that the commissioner saw little large wood ready to cut, but 
plenty of thinnings. The overseer intends gradually to plant the whole, so that, in 
course of time, a thousand acres could be cut annually and a thousand planted out^ which 
could not, it is said, fail to bring in a large revenue, without trenching on the capital of 
timber. Three lines of Scotch fir the commissioner saw lifted and tied in bundles for 
planting out This was done expeditiously by the five-pronged fork, two men digging 
out the young trees, which are then lifted by women, the earth shaken off, and tied in 
bundles for planting. This Hst will give some idea of the progress on only one estate : — 
Duthil Ti\\\ 700 acres, planted six years; Deshar, 1,100 acres, within seven years; 
Sluemore, 600 acres, five years ; Revock, 700 acres, four years ; Bengalupin, 1,200 acres, 
six years ; Advie, 300 acres, ^ne year. 

A point here presents itself which, though it seems vague, and not according 
with Canadian experience, it might be well to examine and find the meaning of. The 
Strathspey overseer considers that ''in Strathspey, at least, the land should be left barrea 
and untouched, after it is cleared of trees, until the natural herbage, whether heather, 
grass or moss, which existed before the tre^ grew, recovers ; and that if planted before 
this takes place, failure will result." 

It may be remarked that oak is now little planted here, its use for ship-buildiiig 
being much less than formerly ; while, even for backing for ironclads it is abandoned in 
favour of teak, which has not the injurioue effect on the iron produced by the contact d 
oak. Scotch fir and larch are much planted, and are rapid in natural reproduction. 
Whenever the natural vegetation has sprung up in places formerly covered with coni- 
ferous trees, the seeds germinate. This ia then protected by wire fences with great 
success. In a large tract of self sown forest in the Grantown district, enclosed six yean 
ago, the Scotch firs average six feet high, while individual trees run up to ten feet. 

Wire fence, tarred, three feet eight inches high, can be constructed for seventeen 

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cents per yard, posts and all, and is muck used. After ten years, or when the trees have 
grown out of hann's way, pasture is sometimes let Enclosed plantations for this pur- 
pose command 2s. 6dL per acre, while ordinary hill side pasture gets but 6dL 

The Earl of Mansfield's woods, in Perthshire. These are about 10,000 acres. 
Planting is going on constantly. There are nine district foresters, and a large staff of wood- 
men. A large plantation of Douglas pine is mentioned as doing remarkably well. They 
were planted in pits fifteen feet apart, fifteen inches square, and ten inches deep, with larch 
and Scotch fir nurses at four foet apart. The pines average twenty-five feet in height. 
The nurses are being removed. The overseer disagrees with the Strathspey statement as 
to leaving the land bare, and considers that it is only the insects (the beetle) which 
hinder the growth of seedlings on land cleared of conifers. He succeeds well by exclud- 
ing cattle for one year, letting the grass, etc., grow, then burning it when dry, and 
planting out. 

The Duke of Athol's woods, in Perthshire comprise 10,000 acres, and were com- 
menced in 1728, principally with larch, which has done well in placeis, but ia now under- 
going the substitution of Scotch fir, which pays better. Oak coppice cut at intervals of 
twenty years yield $60 per acre. 


Another gentleman, M. Gustav Mann, Conservator of Forests in Bengal, has pro- 
ceeded to Germany for the same purpose as Capt. Walker, and gives some further 
important information relative to the German forests. 

In the plain of North Germany the Scotch fir is the principal forest tree, and better 
suited for deep, loose, sandy, than for heavy loaming soil. 

The great " Luneberg Heath" is mentioned, as having been covered with wood, but 
the indifference of the inhabitants to the existence of forests, originating in the common 
belief that they will continue to exist, no matter how recklessly treated, the desire of the 
villagers to get grazing ground for their cattle by burning the forests, the indiscriminate 
usage of the wood and method of felling in vogue, have destroyed hundreds of miles of 
forest, and have left the greater part of the Luneberg Heath barren, covered almost 
exclusively with heather, and of little use to any one. Now the evils are seen, and with 
a view of restoring these forests large sums of money, and much skill and labour, are 
being expended. 

I will quote here a short description of the method used in planting the Scotch fir 
in such localities. The land is first ploughed, after which a man proceeds along the bed, 
making holes at distances three feet by five, with a wedge spade (one quite straight, made 
all of wood except the edge, which is shod some inches high with iron, and is two inches 
thick at the top of the blade). This he forces into the ground, withdraws it, and passes 
on, while two women follow him, who plant by holding the seedling against one side of 
the hole, whUe with their foot they press the opposite earth against the plant. The 
material for planting consists of one-year old seedlings of Scotch fir, and occasionally a 
two-year old seedling of spruce, which are raised in the ordinary way by sowing in fur- 
rows. The Scotch fir requires more light and air than any other, and does not thrive at 

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all in the shade of other forest trees. For the same reason natural reproduction (in 
forests) is very difficult, and not attempted here. As a tree affording some shade to other 
trees which require it, the Scotch fir is well suited. If sown or planted very close, early 
attention to thinning out also is necessary, fus plants early stunted never fully recover 
their strength. The soil not being rich, the trees are not allowed to grow older than sixty 
to eighty years, this being the age at which the comparative yield of wood is best. Spruce 
is planted in small numbers with the Scotch £lr, and even where the soil is not good 
enough for it to grow up into large trees with the fir, it becomes beneficial by the cover 
of its dense foliage, which facilitates decomposition of the soil, and keeps it moister and 
cooler than the fir alone could do. 

It will, perhaps, be as well here to give Mr. Mann's veiy lucid description of beech 
culture : — 

Seed beds for beech are prepared in the ordinary way, and the seed is sown in 
autumn as well as in spring. If the former time is preferred, care has to be taken that 
the seed does not germinate too early, so as to be exposed to spring frosts. This is pre- 
vented by covering over the beds after the surface gets slightly frozen, and by removing 
the covering in spring so late that the young seedlings have nothing more to fear from 
the frost If sown in spring, the seed has to be carefully stored during the winter. 
Steaming, as well as excessive drying, must be guarded against. The first is avoided by 
turning over the seed or even keeping it spread out ; the second by slightly watering it 
and turning it over afterwards, so as to distribute the moisture equally. A cool, moist 
room on the ground floor is preferable to a warm and dry one. 

From the seed beds the plants are either removed at once into the forest, or into 
other nurseries for transplanting and keeping until they reach a height of three or four 
feet. If they are to be planted in open ground, without the protection of old trees, they 
are sometimes kept in the nursery until they reach a height of ten or twelve feet, which 
however is a very expensive measure. In this care is taken that the young shoots are 
not removed from the stem, as the bark of the beech is very easily burnt by the sun, and 
otherwise apt to be damaged by the weather. Unnecessary exposure of the roots of the 
young beech is carefully avoided, as they are very sensitive, and demand special care 
during the removal of the plants. Where it can be done some of the soil is left on the 
roots for the same reason. 

Ordinarily the beech forest trees get re-established by natural production, i a., the 
shedding of seed from old trees. When the beech gets mixed with other kinds, as in the 
coppice with standard, its regeneration is furthered or checked according to circum- 
stances, but planting is seldom resorted to. 

In the pure, high forests of beech the natural reproduction is brought about by 
gradual and well-considered fellings, which tend to effect this as completely as possible. 
In hilly or mountainous localities fellings are commenced at the top of the hilL These 
fellings take place wlien the trees have reached maturity, and are three to four in number, 
and distinguished according to the immediate effect they are intended to have on the 

The first felling, called in Germany the preparatory cutting, is intended to facilitate 
the decomposition of the dry leaves and branches which cover the surface, and thus pre- 

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pare it for the reception of the seed, which latter, without this precaution, frequently 
germinates without being able to penetrate with its roots the comparatively hard jind 
leathery leaves lying on the surface, and often dies in consequence, while weeds and scrub 
easily get up in it, and cover the surface soon, thus adding to the difficulties to be over- 
come by the young plants. It is commenced several years before the intended regenera- 
tion, and carried out gradually; but where the air and light thus admitted are not 
sufficient to render the surface fit for the reception of the seed, a timely permission to 
villagers to remove s6me of the dead leaves is resorted to. Besides the preparing of the 
soil, this opening out of the forest induces the tree to flower and bear seed more fre- 
quently than when standing very close. 

The second felling — the so-called seed-cutting — %a carried out as soon as the bearing 
of seed becomes probable, which can be judged of beforehand by the appearance and 
shape of the buds during the preceding winter. An abundant seed-bearing season gene- 
rally occurs with the seed after longer or shorter intervals, but sufficient seed for the 
regeneration of the forest may be reckoned on every second or third year. Precaution 
is used not to remove too many trees at once, as in case of the flowers being destroyed by 
spring frosts or other causes, the restocking of the ground with young plants does not 
succeed. Too much light would dry up the surface of the soil, and induce the weeds to 
overrun the ground, both circumstances seriously interfering with the germination of the 
seed at a future season. Where at this time the suitability of the soil remains doubtful, 
a timely loosening and preparing of it in stripes and patches is resorted to to insure 

When the expected seeding of the trees turns out a failure, further clearing is cai'e- 
fully avoided, to prevent the deterioration of the soil or overgrowing with weeds. If, 
however, the season is a favourable one, and produces sufficient seed, and the young 
plants germinate, this felling is soon extended to a greater number of trees to admit more 
light and dew to strengthen the young plants. 

For the purpose of getting the seed worked into the ground, herds of swine, cattle, 
etc., are often driven through the forest with good effect. 

Seed beds are sometimes established in the neighbourhood of a forest at the same 
time, to furnish young plants for the filling up of vacancies, which, however, are also 
obtained nearly as good out of the forest itself from places where the plants stand thick 
enough. Altogether the aiding of the natural reproduction by artificial means, either 
sowing or planting, is at the present time generally resorted to at once, as such measures 
always lead to a more satisfactory accomplishment of the desired regeneration, and save 

The third felling is called cutting for light, as its chief purpose is to admit light and 
air in greater abundance as the young plants require it. This is generally commenced 
when the seedlings are two years old. It is also regulated very much by circumstances, 
and while in the one case the forest trees may be required longer on account of the spring 
frosts, so very injurious to the young beech, in others their early removal is necessary, 
even if an increase in size be sacrificed, for the establishment of the young trees. Neither 
do partial failures prevent the removal of the old trees, but are resorted to at once by 

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sowing or planting as the safest and quickest mode of securing the establishment of the 
you|^g forest. 

After the third or light felling follows the gradual removal of the old trees, or final 
clearing, which is regulated in the first instance also by the requirements of the young 
trees, and after this by the fixed yearly out-turn, as laid down in the working plan. As 
a general rule, all these fellings are carried out gradually, without causing sudden changes 
in the forest. The aiding of natural reproduction is either accomplished by sowing, if 
failures are perceptible early, such as non-germination of the seed or death of the seed- 
lings ; or by planting, if the seedlings get destroyed later by spring frosts, or are choked 
by weeds. The sowing is carried out in the forest in strips two feet wide, in furrows, or 
in patches two to three feet square, prepared by hoeing for the purpose, and by loosening 
and levelling of the soil ; while planting is done by seedlings two to three feet in height 
taken from adjoining nursery beds, or from spots in the forest where there are more than 
are necessary. 

" It is evident," says Mr. Mann, " that if, with all this care and attention to aid 
natural reproduction, still occasional &ilures occur, how unreasonable it is to expect 
forests in India to keep in an equally rich and thriving condition if left to themselves^ 
or worked only with a view of extracting the timber from them." I would also apply 
the remark to Canada, and observe also that Captain Clarke respecting India, and Hon. M. 
Joly concerning Canada, make precisely the same statement, to the effect that the forests 
in both countries, cut over and carelessly managed, are often, so far as any available 
supply of good timber is concerned, only forests in appearance. 

It may be noticed that the beech, of all other trees, is said to improve the land, 
forming a rich vegetable mould, to gain the benefit of which other trees — oak, ash, maple, 
larch, Scotch fir — are planted among the beeches, and do well. I may notice here that 
in Canada, while clearing the forest, this did not appear to me. I generally found the 
maple on the richest land, and where beech were intermixed a lighter loam. 

One description of forest much used in Germany is called *' Middle Forest." It 
contains a number of high trees cut at long intervals for timber, and below them a coppice 
(smaller trees growing from roots of previously existing trees, and which will themselves, 
when cut, be succeeded by similar ones) cut at much shorter periods for firewood. In 
cutting the coppice, young trees are left to replace the tall ones when cut. 

A method of planting used here should be noticed. A small spade of solid iron, 
about twenty pounds in weight, fourteen inches long, seven inches broad at top, five at 
bottom, with a handle four inches long, is driven into the ground, and bent to all sides, 
then drawn out. The plant, three to four years old, of beech, spruce, or oak, etc., b 
dipped into a thin mixture of loam and water, which adheres easily. In this state it is 
pushed with its roots into the hole as far as possible, and with continual shaking, by 
which the roots get straight down into the hole, drawn up to the level at which the plant 
should stand. Here it is held by one man, while another drives in the spade a second 
time, about three inches from the first hole and parallel with it, and first presses with its 
point towards the first hole, and then with the broader part, by which means the plant 
gets very firmly pressed into the soil. If necessary the spade is driven in a third time, 
to close up the second hole slightly. The soil is then beaten firm with a mallet all round 

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the plant, but not striking closer than three inches. This mode is very successful ; it is 
carried on without preparing the soil, and answers in stony ground, on account of the 
strength of the spade. • 

On the Harz Mountains (the scene of many a supernatural legend) are vast forests 
of spruce, kept with much care. One remarkable point in the management is the Gov- 
ernment seed-diying kiln at Westerhof , for getting the spruce seed out of the cones and 
cleaning it of wings, which is carried on here extensively, the spruce being plentiful, of 
excellent growth, and -producing exceptionally good seed. The cones are collected by 
contract work, and varies according to the seasons, if plentiful or otherwise, and generally 
enables the workman to earn 50 cents to 75 cents per day. After all the Government 
stores are filled, private persons are allowed to collect, for which the person has to pay a 
small sum per season. In the cones the seed remains good from seven to eight years. 
The Government kiln turns out about 180 cwt& per season, while private parties in good 
seasons have turned out as much as 1,600 cwt& besides. The cones, when first brought 
in, are stored in large rooms, with perforated walls, so as to admit a free current of air 
through them. 

The kiln itself consists of three rooms, the centre one of which is heated by means of 
a large oven, from which large iron pipes, six inches in diameter, pas8*twice through the 
room before they enter the chimney. This room is separated by walls, in which there are 
holes of nine inches, from the two outer rooms, in which the cones are being dried. By 
means of these holes, which can be closed at pleasure, the temperature in the drying room 
is regulated, and kept between 122 and 128 Eahrenheit. The drying is done in large 
wire drums, out of which the seed falls on the floor of the room. There are twelve in 
each room, and are turned from the outside of the room, where it is cooler. They are 
filled in the evening, the temperature got up, and so left for the night. The next morn- 
ing the fire is lit again, and the drums being turned every half hour, by night the cones 
are empty. Half the cones are used to heat the kiln ; the rest sold for fuel. It costs 
Government about six cents per pound. What is not needed is sold at nine. 

It is noticeable that the spruce wood, among other uses, is ground into pulp for 
paper manufacture, several mills in the Harz Mountains being employed in this manner. 
It might be worth consideration whether, under an improved system of forestry, the 
waste wood left in such quantities in hewing and score-hacking could be, in our great 
Canadian spruce forests, so employed. 

It will be well to give an account of the method of reproducing and caring for spruce 
forests, both because our own forests will soon need replanting, and to give some idea of 
the care taken in maintaining woodland property in foreign lands. 

Natural reproduction of the spruce is seldom attempted, as too slow and uncertain ; 
but if there are thriving naturally some clumps of any extent, they are kept up. Almost 
all spruce forests are regulated high forests, with complete clearings, either re-sown, 
which is still preferred by some, or planted, which is by far the most general mode of 
establishing or re-establishing spruce forests. If sown, lines about two feet in width are 
prepared by clearing the weeds, 6tc., off the ground, and placing this at the edge of the 
lines to prevent the wind blowing among' the seed, or rain washing them off. The soil on 
these strips is sometimes loosened and left as it is if the seed is to be sown broadcast. If 

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the seed is sown in rows, sm&ll furrows are made. Between the strips, ground twice as 
wide is left. For plantations, the seed is sown in seed-beds, which are good, even, and 
sheltered nieces of land, about half an acre in size, and well dug up, afterwards levelled 
and occasionally slightly manured by the ashes of the weeds, remains of wood, etc., col- 
lected on the surface, brought together and burned, and afterwards mixed with the soiL 
These seed-beds are usually in the immediate neighbourhood of the ground to be planted^ 
and have to be fenced in. If the seedlings, after they are three or four years old, have 
to be removed from here at once to the spot where they are to remain, the seed-beds have 
to be larger, especially if the young plants are to be planted out in numbers, i. «., three or 
four in one hole. In the latter case the seed is sown generally in furrows, one foot apart, 
as being more convenient, and requiring here in the hills about seventy-five pounds of seed 
for half an acre, which is sufficient to plant fifty acres of forest. The better plan, how- 
ever, is to have the plants from seed-beds, after they are two years old, transplanted 
singly into a nursery at about seven inches distance, where they remain until they are 
four or five years old j this, however, requires as much space again for the nursery as for 
the seed camp. Not unfrequently four to six year old seedlings are taken from the 
adjoining forest, where they are generally so close as to permit of the removal of many 
of them ; and this is the most inexpensive way of procuring seedlings in limited numbers. 
Where there is a demand for thinnings, the planting of three or four plants in one hole 
recommends itself. If it is likely that the ground get run over rapidly with weeds, or the 
soil dried up by the sun, the replanting is done as soon after the removal of the old forest 
as possible, whilst where the danger from insects, especially the small beetle, is great, 
the ground is let lie two or three years first. Planting is done in autumn as well as in 
spring, but the latter is preferred. Spruce is planted four or five feet apart. 

To protect the spruce forest against damage from insects the forester has to be con- 
stantly on the alert, as they are many, and if not checked in time, great damage is done 
by them. The most destructive noticed was the ordinary spruce bark beetle, which 
attacks the bark of living trees, and had, in some of the localities visited by the commis- 
sioner, destroyed so many trees that, when the diseased were removed, the forest had 
become so open that the wind would soon have removed the rest had they not been felled. 
Experienced men are told off to guard against this danger, by going through the forest to 
search for the trees attacked by the beetle, and fell and bark them to prevent the spread- 
ing of the insects. In most cases, they are quite able to hold the insects in check. 
These generally attack trees loosened in the roots by wind, known after the beetle gets 
in by their foliage turning yellow. In spring, when they are worst, healthy living trees 
are felled at the southern margin of the forest in sunny spots, for the purpose of attract- 
ing the beetle. Such trees are often full of them three or four days after being felled. 
The trees attacked are barked, which destroys the larvae if not too far advanced ; if so, 
the bark is burned. To prevent any escaping while barking, a cloth is spread under the 
stem. The timber beetle, which attacks new felled trees, going deep into the wood, is 
also common there, and is watched for closely. For the young plantation of spruce the 
first mentioned is the most dangerous, as it eats off the bark above the roots, and kills the 
tree. Fresh pieces of bark a foot square, inner side down, are laid around before or after 
planting. The beetles go under, and are caught and killed. The bark is examined every 

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SiLYBB Fir and Spbucb in the Black Forest. 

The Black Forest mountains are the home of the silver fir. The winters are severe — 
five to eighf feet of snow on the hills from November till April ; three feet in the valleys 
from December till March. They are partly regulated forest, in which, however, a gradual 
felling for their reproHuction is carried on over one-third or one-fourth of the whole area 
at once, from which every year during thirty or forty years the largest trees are removed, 
while the rest are allowed to grow larger during the remaining years. This is done, as 
the price these large trees fetch is much higher in proportion than that of the smaller 
ones, and all are felled and removed in one piece if possible. Natural reproduction is 
chiefly resorted to in these forests, which, in consequence of the young plant growing well 
in the shade of the old trees, is very easily accomplished, even though it is extended over 
such a long period as thirty or forty years. To be able to keep as many trees as possible 
growing on the lands on which the regeneration of the forest is going on, the branches up 
to one or two-thirds of the height of the tree are sawn off to admit air and light to the 
young plants below, which does no harm to the silver fir, but, on the contrary, is said to 
aid the more rapid increase of the trunk, while the brahches are used for litter. This 
sawing ofi[ of the branches is commenced from above by men who earn about forty-five cents 
a day. Regular seed-bearing seasons occur at longer or shorter intervals, but nearly every 
year there is sufficient seed to increase the number of young plants where it is wanted. 
Moss cover is v^ry favourable for the germination of the seed, whilst in such places as 
get covered with grass or weeds, or where for other reasons the seed does not germinate 
freely, the soil is at once prepared, by clearing and slightly loosening it in strips and 
patches, for the reception of the seed, the germination of which is thus facilitated. If 
the open space in the forest is so large that the seed from the old trees does not reach 
the whole of it^ sowing by hand is resorted to early, so as to let the young plants be as 
nearly as possible of the same age. If, by the time the old trees are nearly all removed, 
there are still some parts not covered with young trees, planting is resorted to. For the 
better growth of such planted trees the existing groups are somewhat rounded off, to 
avoid the young trees planted having to struggle with the others, perhaps alrea'dy twenty 
to thirty years old ; and where, on incompletely stocked spaces, which have to be filled 
up by planting, there are single trees of some twenty or thirty years, they are out down 
altogether ; or, if they are standing in numbers, and are not quite so large, some of the 
lower branches are lopped off the outer ones, so as not to interfere with those planted. 
These plants are either taken from nurseries or out of the forest, if the latter have not 
grown in too deep shade, which would render them liable to suffer on being removed to 
open place& 

The seed is collected with some risk from the trees in October, before the cones open 
and it falls out As the seeds are very oily, they are best kept in the cones or sown at 
once. The sowing is done in prepared beds in rows four inches apart, and after germina- 
tion the ground is covered with moss to keep in the moisture. The seedlings one year 
old are transplanted into rows six or seven inches apart, and three inches between the 
plants in the rows, after which the soil between them is also covered with moss. Here 
they have to remedn for two or three years before they are fit for transplanting. Shade 

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from the side is very beneficial for the seed beds as well as for the nursery. Plants for 
the nursery are preferable to those out of the forest ; and the latter, when used, are as a 
rule removed with some of the soil adhering to the roots. Planting is better done in 
spring than in autumn, and in the usual way, the roots of the young plants being cut as 
may be necessary. They have to be sheltered as far as possible against sun, dryness, or 
spring frosts, and the plants as a rule thrive better on the cool northerly and easterly 
slopes of the mountains than anywhere else. The silver fir grows very slowly at first, 
and does not get much higher than six inches in the first four or five years. At the age 
of twenty-five years it begins to grow very fast, and increases most between the ages of 
eighty and a hundred and twenty years. It likes best a deep, cool, moist and loamy soil 
with a covering of moss, and sends its roots deeper than the spruce, in consequence of 
which it su£fers less from wind and storm than the latter. There are many spruce inter- 
mixed, used when natural reproduction of the silver fir fails. Thinnings are necessary in 
the thirtieth year, and have then to be repeated every tenth year, till the gradual felling 
of the largest trees commences. These fellings are regulated by the needs of the young 
seedlings, and are carried out only sufficiently to admit light to the young plants, leaving 
as many of the old trees to stand as can be permitted. 

Moorpan, — In Hanover and elsewhere, where the Government are bringing up thou- 
sands of acres of heath for the purpose of planting forests, great difficulty is found in 
penetrating and converting into good soil a hard layer called " moorpan." ^This is broken 
by plough and pickaxe, and Scotch firs planted, whose deep tap-root passes down into the 
layer of better soil below. The Government pay about $1 1 an acre for the land. 


The administration of forests in France is entrusted to the Ministry of Finance, and 
the head of the Department is the Director-General, assisted by two administrators, one 
charged with the management of the forests and the sale of the products, the other with 
the police of the forests and the forest lawd. In the departments there are thirty-two 
conservators, each in charge of one or more departments, according to the extent of 
forests in each. The immediate supervision is entrusted to inspectors, who are assisted 
by sub-inspectors and gardes-generattx, who live near, and personally superintend all ope- 
rations and work of the forest guards. The brigadiers and forest guards live in houses 
in the forest and serve as a police over a certain range. They are required to be present 
at all operations, and to go round their ranges at least once a day to report any violations 
of forest law that may take place. 

The saw-mills in the forests are tisually owned by the Government and hired at a 
certain rate to the wood merchants, who buy the cuttings. The timber is allowed to be 
sawn up before it is inspected and marked by the forest guard under the superintendence 
of an inspector. * 

The forests under the management of the bureau are (State and Commune) about 
7,500,000 acres. There were nearly a million more, which went with Alsace and Lor- 
raine to Germany. Also, there are in France 15,000,000 acres of private forests. 

Of schools of forestry, the French have, at Nancy, one of the best in the world, 

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where pupils are instructed both experimentally and theoretically in all forest learning, 
the collegiate home studies being constantly varied by excursions of parties of pupils, 
under charge of professors, to those forests where, at the time, most can be learned. 
Proficiency in these schools forms, of course, a strong recommendation to future advance- 
ment in the Government or private forest service. For admission to the school candi- 
dates must bring a letter of authorization from the Director-General of Forests, which 
can only be obtained by those from nineteen to twenty-two, without infirmities, and 
having a diploma of Bachelor of Letters, or attainments in classical studies to warrant 
such diploma. They must also have an income of $300 per annum, or a pledge from 
friends to provide it, and $120 afterwards till employed as garde-general on active duty. 
In the difficulties which have hindered the eflfbrts being made, especially in America, 
to preserve a due amount of forest, one of the most formidable has been the disinclination 
to interfere with private rights. It will be of service in Canada in this matter to notice 
how summarily, in France, this matter has been managed. I will therefore quote the 
principles of law upon which the forest code of France is founded, as stated with great 
precision by Professor Macarel (a writer deservedly of the highest estimation) in his 
" Cotirs de Droit AdministrcUif" As they embrace views applicable in other countries 
under like necessities — being, ip fact, an extension of the right of eminent domain, or 
that maxim of Boman law, «aZiM populi suprevna est — they will be especially germane 
to our purpose. He says ; — 

" RestrietionB Implied in the Free Erijoyment of the SoiL 

" As to the woods and forests : 

^ The preservation of forests is one of the first interests of society, and consequently 
one of the first duties of Government. It is not alone from the wealth which they offer 
that we may judge. Their existence is of itself of incalcujable benefit, as well in the pro- 
tection and feeding of the springs and riv^ers as in their prevention of the washing away 
of the soil from mountains^ and in the beneficial influence which they exert upon the 

*^ Large forests deaden and break the force of heavy 'winds that beat out the seeds 
and injure the growth of plants ; they form reservoirs of moisture ; they shelter the 
growth of the fields ; and upon hill-sid^ where the rainwaters, checked in their descent 
by the thousand obstacles they present by their roots and by the trunks of trees, have 
time to filter into the soil and only find their way by slow degrees to the rivers. They 
regulate, in a certain degree, the flow of the waters and the hygrometrical condition of 
the atmosphere^ and their destruction accordingly increases the duration of droughts and 
give rise to the injuries of inundations, which denude the face of the mountains. 

'* Penetrated with these truths, legislators have in all ages made the preservation of 
forests an object of special solicitude. 

*' Unfortunately, private interests — that is to say, the action of those who do not 
directly feel the power of the Government — are often opposed to this great national inte- 
rest, and the laws framed for protection are often powerless. 

" In France, the ordinances prior to the revolution carried too far the restrictions 
•imposed on private owners. The new regulations fell into the opposite extreme, and 
allowed the proprietors free and absolute liberty "to dispose of their woods. 

" A large destruction followed this imprudent translation from excess of restraint to 
excess of liberty. The proprietors abused this unwonted freedom, and clearings multiplied 
indefinitely, without distinction as to the places where they were made, so that in many 
localities '^e rushing down of the denuded soil and the deforesting of mountains caused 
the soil needed for vegetation to disappear and left the rocks naked. The rise in the 
price of wood and the easy and certain resource offered to proprietors in the clearing of a 

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planted tract, when compared with the remote and eventual advantages offered in their 
preservation ; the hope of compensation, and, beyond this, the advantages, in one way 
and another, of cultivation, may be recognized as among the causes which sufficiently ex- 
plain the inducements offered to many of these proprietors, which led them to undertake 
these clearings." 

I would here notice that this is precisely what we have been doing in Canada, and 
that the ill effects which followed in France will surely in no long time be felt in Ontario. 
They are already felt ; we have not the climate we had, nor the favouring moisture when 
most needed. Tet we could get along as we at'e. But that is just what is impossible. 
We must, while there is time, use some means of averting the evil, or we shall certainly 
become much worse off than we are. M. Macarel goes on : — 

" At length, this progressive deforesting of the soil of France, joined with the inces- 
• sant need of firewood, and the demand for wood by manufactoiies and ships, have, during 
forty years, made sad havoc with our forest wealth. 

'* A renewal of the ancient prohibitions by the law of 9 Floreal, year XI., was 
deemed necessary to oppose this excessive clearing of woods by private owners. It was 
accordingly decreed that, during the twenty-five years dating from the date of the pro- 
mulgation, no wood should be cut or carried off unless six months' notice had been given 
by the proprietor to the forest conservator of the arrondissement of the district in which 
the wood was located. Within this time the forest administration might object to the 
clearing off of the wood, and was charged to refer the question before the end of this time 
to the Minister of Finance, upon whose report the Government might definitely decide 
within the same time. It therefore resulted in this, that to make a clearing an authori- 
zation precedent by the administration was necessary,^ and that if the administration 
thought proper not to grant this, the proprietor was restrained against cutting. 

" Thus, according to this branch of agricultural industry, the general law of France 
is, that owners are free to vary, within certain limits, the cultivation and working of their 
lands ; but, as to woods and forests, the public interests demand that individuals shall 
not be free to clear them from the soil whenever they please. From hence it follows, 
that the administration has a. right to pronounce its prohibition against clearing 
whenever it is deemed that the public interests require that this be done." 

The penalties for clearing when forbidden are, I may state, a fine of about $200 per 
acre, and compulsory replanting within three years. This law was, I conceive, in full 
force in 1874, as this quotation forms part of a rfi^ort to the IJ. S. Congress of that year. 
It probably is in force still, and justly so. The voice of the people, not of solitary citi- 
zens, should decide in so important a matter as deforesting a country. 

The French Government have, at great expense, replanted vast and almost barren 
districts j they have also established great forests along the sea-shore where formerly the 
sand threatened to destroy whole departments, and have averted the evil. But the chief 
means is the prohibition of clearing ; for it is the interest of an owner who does not clear 
to plant and improve his forest, so as to receive an increased income from the trees arriv- 
ing at maturity in increased numbers yearly. 


In no country in Europe has the waste of forests been more rapid or destructive 
than in Switzerland, and in none, perhaps, has this improvidence been followed by more 
disastrous results. The woods, being considered common property, were upA>oted ; and 
the soil on the mountains being exposed to the wash of the rains, was rapidly carried 

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awaj, leaving broad areas of naked rock, from which the water would at once sweep 
down the valleys in sudden and destructive inundations. The autumn of 1868 is memor- 
able on account of these floods. 

Public attention has, however, been thoroughly awakened, and active measures are 
in progress to remedy, as far as may be, these evils. The cantons which have charge of 
these operations have for some time, at great expense, been constructing works to control 
the streams, and planting trees wherever practicable. 

I would here remark that this is a very difficult matter compared with what it might 
have been. It is easy to preserve a forest on a hill-side, but the soil once washed to the 
rock, it is another matter. I could point out places in Ontario where splendid forests 
stood, and yet might have stood, now for many miles 

"White rock and grey rooky 
« Barren and bare.'' 

The matter is now in Switzerland taken into the hands of the national Government, 
and the following article gives the idea : — 

" Art XXIL — The Federal Union of Switzerland has the right of supervising struc- 
tures for the protection of water courses, and of the forest police in mountain regions. 
It will assist in protective structures for water courses, and in the planting of fcfests at 
their sources: It will enact the requisite regulations for maintaining these works and 
the forests now existing." 


Soon after the present Kingdom of Italy was established, a central forest school was 
organized near Florence, under the direction of A. di Berenger, formerly in the Austrian 
forest service of Yenezia, and author of an excellent work on the history of forest manage- 
ment in Italy. The school is located in the splendid silver fir forest of Yallombrosa. 
We all remember 

" Thick ag antamnal leaves that strew the brooks, 

In VaUombrosa." « 

This is below the crest of the Appenines, on their western slope, about twenty miles 
east of Florence. In winter it is transferred to a lower station at Patemo, in the region 
of the olive. Italian forest literature of direct practical application is comparatively 
modem, but of late the publications of the Ministry of Agriculture, to which sylviculture 
is entrusted, contain much that is valuable. The two most important of these give the 
statistics of forests and the forest law of Italy. There are over five million acres of com- 
munal forests, over^iix million of private forests, and only half a million acres of State 
forests. One-fifth of the land is in forest. This is scant enough, apparently, of the 
nominal forests have been culled to depreciation, for we are told that — 

" Projects of a general forest law for the whole of Iliialy have been repeatedly sub- 
mitted to the Italian Parliament. The evil effects of denudation have been severely felt 
in many parts of the country, and the aim of these proposed legislative enactments has 
hitherto been to guard against further mischief by determining beforehand which lands 
shall, in the public interest, be clothed with forest or kept under forest, and then to place 
the whole of these lands under the supervision or control of the public forest officers 
without distinction, whether they belonged to state, village, commune, or private persons. 
Prom a report with which the Minister of Agriculture submitted th^ project of a general 

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forest law in 1870, it appears that the financial exigencies of the country had rendered 
imperative the alienation of the greater part of the forests at the disposal of the State, 
and that it was only intended to retain a limited area of State forests, mainly with the 
view of supplying the timber required by the navy, and the forests required for this pur- 
pose the bill proposed to declare inalienable. 

** Thus, with regard to forest matters," says Captain Walker, '' it seems probable 
that Italy will pursue a policy different from that which has of late years been initiated 
in most provinces of India. In those provinces we acknowledge the necessity of main- 
taining certain, areas under forest, or of clothing them with forest when they are bare ; 
but we do not expect any satisfactory success in those attempts, unless the forests to be 
thus maintained or created are under the entire control of the State, and we entertain no 
serious hopes of effecting any real good by the supervision of private forests, or by any 
general kind of control over communal forests, unless the administration or management 
of such communal forests can be vested entirely in the hands of the public forest officers. 

" In those provinces, therefore, of the Indian Empire, to which I now refer, our 
principal aim' is, in the first place, to consolidate the State forests wherever the State has 
suitable forest lands at its disposal ; and we hope that eventually, when the majority .of 
public forest officers shall have acquired that professional knowledge, skill, and experi- 
cence which is necessary for a satisfactory management of forest land, that they may be 
found competent not only to manage the State forests entrusted to their charge, but also 
to induce large landed proprietors to follow their example in the management of their 
own estates, and, if such should ever be found necessary and expedient, to exercise an 
efficient supervision over private and communal forest Uuids ; but we think that any at- 
tempt ft) exercise supervision and control over private and communal forest lands through 
the agency of forest officers who have not actually charge of public forests entirely under 
their own control, and who cannot point to the management of their own forests as an 
example to be followed in the management of the private or communal forests, would lead 
to unsatisfactory results. The further development of the general forest policy in Italy 
will doubtless be followed with great interest by Indian foresters, and on this account it 
appeared .to me right to add the present remarks." 

It may be valuable here to notice that in this, as in other points, the practical ideas 
of the Indian commissioner might well be applied in Canada. There is good reason to 
fear over-denudation here ; there is also reason to believe that we shall have an interval 
in which to take measures for avoiding the evih In that interval the course stated by 
the commissioner as likely to be followed in India might, it appears to me, profitably be 
pursued here, namely, the taking in hand by Government of any amount of forest fit for 
the purpose, and which could be spared from the operation of the system at present pur- 
sued, and preserving them on the European plan. This will further on be more fully 


In this vast empire, where, as in the United States, we have^been accustomed to 
believe the forest is interminable, and where, in fact, the amount of woodland in the 
northern two-thirds is more than twice as great in proportion to its area as in the United 
States, the Government has turned its attention energetically to the subject of forestry, 
and has undertaken to establish by regulation conservative measures. As yet, private 
persons and establishments owning forests enjoy the absolute right to cut and clear at 
will But these do not own nearly so much as the Government, which has about three 
hundred and thirty million acres of woods ; the others holding about one hundred and 
fifty. About forty per cent, of the country (Eussia in Europe) is timbered. I must re- 
mark that this amottnt, after, so long an occupation, shows that the timber has been taken 

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some care of already. For the immense Govemment woods, they have been placed under 
the care of the Minister of Public Domains, who has a director of the Forest Department, 
and the organization of the service is very complete, f'or the purpose of fitting young 
men for the duties of forest agents and agriculturists, either for the Government service 
or upon private estates, two special schools of agriculture and forestry have been estab- 
lished — one at St. Petersburg, and one near Moscow. The course of instruction extends 
through three or four years, and the schools are placed near forests, where every detail 
is illustrated. There is also another forest school at Lissino, of the second grade, 
where the course is very practical 


In 1859 a bureau of Forest Administration was created. Forest regulations, how- 
ever, extend back to 1647, and even before that, private owners were required to plant 
and protect from cattle two trees for each one cut. 

In 1868 a commission was appointed, under the direction of Mr. E. Y. Alinquist, 
to enquire into the need of further legislation, and in December, 1870, he submitted a re- 
port with a bill, making 392 pages, besides numerous tables. 

One clause in the reported bill is a compulsory feature, which, though less stringent, 
is in the spirit of the enactments now in force in most of the countries of continental 
Europe, namely, forbidding trees to be cut for sale smaller than eleven inches at the butt, 
or eij^ht inches sixteen Swedish feet therefrom. 


The necessity of preserving tropical forests has fortunately attracted the attention of 
Govemment in British India, where the importance of maintaining an equilibrium of tem- 
perature and humidity is of much immediate consequence to the social welfare ; and the 
growing demands of railroad use, and the various applications of the arts, render it a sub- 
ject of direct practical utility. 

The matter has been agitated since 1850, and in 1864, Government laid the founda- 
tion of an improved general system of forest administration, for the whole Indian empire, 
having fpr its object the conservation of state forests, and the development of this source 
of national wealth. The experience acquired in the forest schools of France and Germany 
has been brought to apply in this great national undertaking. Among the more impor- 
tant general principles laid down for the execution of this measure is that all superior 
Govemment forests are reserved and made inalienable, and their boundaries marked out 
to distinguish them from waste lands available for the public. The Act of 1864, defining 
the nature of forest rules and penalties, has been adopted by most of the local govern- 
ments, and the executive arrangements are left to the local administrations. Various 
surveys have been made to obtain accurate data concerning the geographical and botani- 
cal characteristics of the reserved tracts, and the kind of timber best adapted for various 
localities has been carefully ascertained. 

In 1866, the Government resolved upon sending out five young men, duly qualified 
by education in the forest schools of France and Germany, for the forest department of 
India. An arrangement was made the same year by which toregt officers in the India 

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service, who might choose to come to Europe on furlough, would be able to increase their 
professional knowledge by studying forest management and other subjects connected with 
forests in Great Britain and on the continent. A number of oficers have availed them- 
selves of these arrangements, and some of their reports have been published. 

Of these, that by Captain Walker, and that of M. Gustav Mann, I have largely used 
elsewhere, as the reader will have observed. 

" At the moment of our writings," says the author of a report from which I have 
obtained much, presented to the XT. S. congress in 1874, ''the public journals are giving 
most painful accounts of the distress in India from famine. From a careful study of this 
subject we cannot doubt that this calamity is due to the fact that the forests have, of late 
years, been swept off by demand for railroad and other uses much more rapidly than for- 
merly, and that the exposure to winds and sun, thus occasioned, may have largely con- 
tributed to these painful results. The remedies are to be sought in the restoration of that 
due proportion of forest-shade upon which agriculture depend^ for success. If the officers 
to whom the opportunities for European observation fall, improve them as well as some 
reported by Captain Walker, we may reasonably hope for a radical though not an imme- 
diate restoration of abundant harvests throughout the vast countries of India." 

Now, since this was written, we have Sir Richard Temple's valuable book, '' India in 
1880," which I have noticed before. This gives us some idea of what has been commenced 
by the gentlemen who have been writing the reports we have used. He says : — 

'' The Government of India has enacted a law regulating all matters connected with 
forest conservancy, and the provisions of this law are being carried into effect by the sev- 
eral local governments. The forests are divided into two categories ; first, those which 
are ' reserved,' being preserved and worked through state agency, in a most complete 
manner] secondly, those which are 'protected,' being preserved less thoroughly. The 
best timber markets are mainly supplied from the ' reserved ' forests. Care has been taken 
to determine what tracts shall be ' reserved ' and ' protected,' and to mark off their boun- 
daries. The area thus defined in the several provinces already, or likely to be defined ere 
long, will prove to be hardly less than eighty thousand square miles for the whole empire. 
The primary object of the administration is to preserve the forests for the sake of the 
country. Due attention is also given to the financial out-turn ; much income is already 
secured. The expenditure is over five hundred thousand pounds annually, but the 
receipts amount to nearly seven hundred thousand, and in time the forest department will 
have a prosperous revenue. 

" The superior officers of the deplurtment are for the most part British, trained in the 
forest schools of France and Germany. The Inspector General of Forests with the Gov- 
ernment of India is Dr. D. Brandis, whose services to the empire have been conspicuous 
in organizing a system of forestry which is sound and scientific, and is yet adapted to the 
circumstances of the country. Instructions in forestry is afforded to natives also ; forest 
schools 'are established for them, and in time they will take a large share of the adminis- 
trative work, 

" As might be expected, the system of forest conservancy, though generally accepted 
by the natives who dwell near the ' reserved ' and the * protected * tracts, is sometimes op- 
posed by them. There must always be some danger lest the foresters should, in their ze&I 
for conservancy, infringe upon the prescriptive rights of the inhabitants. The local civil 
authorities are vigilant and prompt in asserting and vindicating the rights of the people 
in this respect ; for the- recognition of which rights, indeed, ample provision is made by 
the law. They should, however, be careful to support the forest officers in the execution 
of duties which are of the utmost consequence to the welfare of the country. Many of 
the hill tribes habitually bum patches of valuable forest, in order that the ashes may so 
fertiHze the virgin soil as to render it capable of producing a crop without tillage. Hav- 
ing reaped one harvest, they leave the spot marked by charred stumps of timber trees, 
and move on to repeat the same ravage elsewhere. This barbarous and wastefully des- 

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tractive practice is gradually and cautiously checked, by reclaiming these people from 
agricultural savagery, and inducing them to plough laiids, and raise yearly crops by 
ordinary husbandry. 

'* According to the latest returns there appear to be 29,600 square miles of demar- 
cated reserve forests, 3,500 square miles of protected areas, and 35,000 square miles of 
unreserved forests, or 68,000 square miles in all. This appears a comparatively small 
area for so large an empire, especially when it is remembered that of this not more than 
one half is eflfectually preserved. Some extensive forest tracts exist, however, in the 
Madras Presidency, of which a return remains to be rendered. There are, further, 31,000 
acres of plantations in various districts." 

These plantations, I may remark, are those commenced by the foresters under Dr. 
Brandis, and are being every year added to at the rate of some thousands of acres. It 
may be noticed that the forest officers trained in Europe for India, and at work there 
now, number forty-six out of a staff of ninety-three, who have, of course, an immense 
number of subordinates. 

Ooncerning other countries, it may be generally remarked, that all bhe nations of 
continental Europe are moving in forestry matters, and that there are many schools 
besides those I have mentioned. 

South Australia. 

The colonies of Australia and New Zealand are working earnestly in the matter of 
tree culture. In South Australia there is, we are told, far too little woodland. The 
consequences are that so arid is the country in parts that the reports state they can 
never expect to grow wheat unless the rainfall can be, by the assistance of plantations or 
otherwise, increased. 

South Australia has moved vigorously in the matter. They have appointed a Conser- 
vator of Forests, Mr. J. E. Brown, F.L.S., who has written a valuable work on tree 
culture there. Reserves have been mapped out, of which one is about fifty thousand 
acres, another nine thousand, another twenty thousand, with smaller ones of six or seven 
hundred — ^the larger evidently intended to be improved into forests on the European plan 
— the smaller as nurseries and seed-bed for young plants. Houses have been built for 
nurserymen, and all suitable buildings erected, and forest rangers and police appointed. 
The Forest Board had been in existence three years in 1879, and from the report of opera- 
tions sent in by Mr. Brown in that year, giving full and admirably worded details con- 
cerning the soil, trees, and method of procedure adopted and to be adopted on all the 
reserves, there is little doubt that South Australia will, considering how rapid growth, 
when encouraged, is there, (twice as rapid as in Britain) soon possess large and valuable 
for^ts, fit to yield yearly a regular and large quantity of timber, without either clearing 
or injuring the woodland i*e8erves. 

New Zealand. 

To show the destruction of timber even where unnecessary. for clearing, it may be 

observed that it is evident New Zealand possessed, when first colonized to any extent, in 

1830, much land in a prairie or unwooded state, as her area was sixty-six million acres, 

and her wooded area twenty million acres. However, by 1868 she had destroyed ^ve 


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million acres of woods ; and hj 1873, she had lost eight, leaving her but twelve million 
acres. The destruction was principailly caused, not by clearing, but by carelessness in 
allowing bush fires; and it was evident the land would, at that rate, fioon be deforested 
altogether. The well-known writer, Hochstetter, says: — "Individuals should not be 
suffered to turn the country into a desert to the detriment of whole generations to come. 
The woods are ransacked and ravaged, in New Zealand, with fire and sword. During my 
stay in Auckland, I was able to observe from my windows, during an entire fortnight* 
dense clouds of smoke whirling up, which proceeded from an enormously destructive confla- 
gration near the town. When the fire had subsided, where had been a large beautiful tract 
of forest was now nothing but ashes." An official of the New Zealand Company had also 
pointed out the destructive propensities of the settlers in cutting down valuable wood. 
He says : — "A melancholy scene of waste and destruction presented itself to me when I 
went up to see the forest. Several square miles of it were burning, having been fired in 
order to make room for the conveyance of logs down the creek. Noble trees, which had 
required ages for their perfection, were thus ruthlessly destroyed in great numbers." 

In consequence of this state of affairs, public opinion in New Zealand was loudly 
expressed, and numerous reports were presented to the Legislature causing animated 
debates, and large and valuable compilations of these were put>lished. By this time, there* 
is every reason to believe, if these reports and plans have been properly attended to and 
carried out, New Zealand has made good progress in the matter, though we have not, as 
. in South Australia, an actual Forest Literature, such as the conservator there has pub- 

United States. 

The United States have for some years past established a bureau of forestry under 
the able superintendence of Dr. Hough, who has issued several valuable yearly reports, 
and whom I have to thank for copies of these as well as for other valuable publi- 
cations connected with the subject. Largely in consequence of Dr. Hough's labours, 
tree-planting is receiving a rapid impetus throughout the United States, especially in the 
prairie sections ; while in many of those States which have been principally cleared of 
their forest, great interest is being created in the subject, and important works being car- 
ried out. 


Tree Seeds. — Methods of Planting. / 

In a report of a committee upon forestry, made to the Iowa State Horticultural 
Society in 1875, by Prof. Henry H. McAfee, the following practical statements are made 
upon this subject : — 

" Seeds may be classified for purposes of treatment into three sorts, viz : nuts, hard 
seeds, and soft seed& The nuts should always be planted where they are to remain per- 
manently, as the nut-trees do not usually transplant without considerable injury, and the 
nuts must be kept damp from the time when they are ripe till planted ; at least the 
kernel irfust not be allowed to become dry, or they will surely fail to grow. Thin, soft- 
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shelled nats, like the chestnut, will, if exposed to sun and air, dry in a few hours enough 
to prevent growth. So nuts must be kept in earth or on the earth under mulch, or in 
something that will prevent drying till used. Peat, moss, old straw, dust, etc., will do. 
A very good way is to spread them in a thin layer upon the ground, or in a trench so 
located that water cannot stand among them, and cover them thoroughly with mulch, 
planting them at corn-planting time, and about as deep as com is planted. 

*^ The hard seeds are generally somewhat slow to germinate, and need to be in soak 
for a long time, to be froasen wet, or to be scalded before planting, or to be treated with 
some substance to hasten germination. This class embraces honey-locust, which is kept 
dry and planted in spring, will seldom ever grow the first year, and sometimes will not 
sprout till the third season ; also the stones of cherries and plums and even the seeds of 
apples and pears. If mixed with sand (two parts of sand to one seed by bulk) and 
dampened fully, and subjected to moderate freezing through the winter, all this class 
except honey-locust, coffee-nut, the hawthorns, and red cedar are likely to grow the season 
planted. For these exceptionally hard cases water, heated to boiling, is poured over 
them, and, standing upon them for an hour or two, some may sweU, and can then be 
picked out and planted, and the more incorrigible treated to another scald, and thus till 
they all swell, or they are planted in fall and left to grow when they will ; or, in case of 
haws, they may be mixed into bran-mash and fed to sheep or cattle, and the droppings 
planted, when the seeds, softened by the digestion, are likely to grow. 

'^ The soft seeds, comprising all not named in the two other classes, may be still 
further divided into spring, fall, and winter seeds, each of which require or permits 
different treatment. The spring seeds are those which ripen in spring or early summer, 
as silver or red maples and red and white elm, all ripening from May 15th to June 5th, 
and the rock-elm a little later than the others. These seeds will not keep well and should 
be gathered from the trees before they fall, except where they are so situated that they 
may fall into still water, when, being light and floating, they may sometimes be scooped 
up in large quantities. As soon as possible after gathering they should be planted, not 
covered deeply, say one-half inch, in good mellow soil ; and if a fine mulch, like damp 
chaff, can be obtained, it should be lightly spread over the ground, which sometimes takes 
place in June. • 

" The winter soft seeds are ash-leaved maple, green and black ash, sycamore, bass- 
wood, etc., or those seeds which have a tendency to hang all winter in sheltered localities. 
These seeds may be gathered sometimes as late as planting time and immediately planted; 
but if gathered earlier, had. better be spread thinly upon the ground, and covered till 
planting time. All others of the soft and winged seeds, not classed as spring or winter, 
are the soft fall seeds, and they should all be stored as directed for the nuts. Hackberry 
and cherry, though properly classed with the hard seed, should be freed from their pulp 
in fall and stored in earth to freeze, and planted in spring without scalding. All seeds, 
but nuts, which are large enough to pick up readily, and such as may be gathered floating 
on still water, as noted above, are best gathered from the trees and stored so as not to dry 
too much. Thej must not be kept in too large masses, as, so dealt with, they may heat 
and spoil 

'* If ground is not very weedy, it may be economy to plant all seeds in permanent 
plantation ; but iu old or weedy ground it is generally best to grow them in seed-bed or 
nursery rows. ' If put in the permanent plantation, allowance should be made for poor 
seeds, and more planted than you want of trees. The question of check-row or drill 
planting is to be decided by the planter, and the same reasons which determine the man- 
ner of planting com have weight in forestry, though, generally speaking, forestry is more 
satisfactory in drills than is an annual crop like com. If check-rows are used, several 
seeds per hill are desirable; and if drills, generally twice or three times as many seeds as 
you need trees should go in. It is not worth while to put tree seeds into any but mel- 
low, moist soil, and to secure good results with them, thorough culture the first year is 
necessary. A mle of depth sometimes given is to cover with soil as deep as the seed 
is thick, and that is of course very thin for small seeds. But seeds of trees often get 
covered too deep, and any seeds but the nuts ought to grow with half an inch of fine earth 

lightly packed above the seed. Nuts may be planted a little deeper, but Jio*iniu€hrv^|r> 

igi ize y ^ 


'* Seed-beds and nursery rows are, all in all, to be advised, and they are generally 
used for seedling trees. Seed-beds are usually four feet wide and of any convenient 
length, and four inches above the surrounding level For evergreen and larch seeds, 
which, by the way, ought not to be attempted by any one not trained in the nursery busi- 
ness, shades are used in the form of lath hurdles, with openings of less width tbsui the 
strips, and generally, in addition to the hurdles, windscreens around the beds, while some 
nurserymen build arbors over their seed-beds, and such seed is generally put in broadcast, 
covering by sifting on sandy earth. But for any of our native tree-seeds, shading will 
hardly be necessary. 

"Drills across the beds one foot apart may be planted, or drills, twenty to twenty- 
eight inches apart, may be made of any length, and on the general level, and the seeds 
planted at the jate of twenty to forty to the foot. Culture, while plants are young, 
should be by hand, running a hand wheel-hoe, and hand-weeding in the drill, if necessary; 
but when the trees have attained some growth, a steady horse may be used, and if the 
nursery is made of long rows, of course horse labour is better employed than if it is in 
short row& Most of the native trees will be fit at one year old to remove to permanent 
plantation, and if to be so used, should be dug in the fall, and stored by burying, or in 
cellar, ready for early planting the next spring.'' 

Evergreen Planting in Nebraska. 

As to the proper season for planting evergreens, the author of an article in the 
Fourth Beport of the Nebraska State Board of Agriculture, remarks : — 

" The exact time when evergreens should be moved has excited much discussion, and 
there is a wide difference of opinion as to the proper season. My experience after 
repeated trials, is that just when the buds first begin to swell in the spring is the time ; 
while those removed after they have grown an inch were mostly failures. While a de- 
ciduous tree, when planted, is without leaves, an evergreen has an abundance of foliage to 
give off evaporation. Just at the time mentioned, the spongioles have commenced vigor- 
ous action ; the resinous sap is thinned, and what is needed to secure a new growth is care- 
ful handling ; see that the earth, which should be in close contact with the roots, is finely 
pulverized, and avoid by all means giving too much water. To insure the growth of any 
tree a certain amount of warmth in the soil is necessary. This cannot be found when the 
planting is done early in the spring, and in consequence the fibres lose their vitality and 
are unable to draw the required nourishment. Advantage should be taken of cloudy 
days, when both roots and tops are not exposed to the hot sun or drying winds, and, if 
the ground is moist, sufficient water only is needed to settle the earth about the roots, 
and then mulching to some distance round the tree will retain the moisture and keep 
down the weeds." 

Rules of E. Fbrrand on Evergreen Culture (Nebraska). 

Stiggt8ied by Ten Tears^ Experience as an Evergreen-tree Raiser^ and Ten Years cu an 

Evergreen-forest Planter, 

" 1st. Never plant your evergreens in the fall of the year, but do it in the spring as 
early as you can obtain the trees. 

" 2nd. Do not set your trees in the ground deeper by an inch than they stood in the 
nursery. Use no manure of any kind in planting evergreens or larch, but let the soil 
be mellow and friable, without lumps in contact with the roots. 

" 3rd Do not plant trees under two years' old even for stocking a nursery, and for 
the garden and lawn give the preference to trees one to three feet high. 

" 4th. Never dig deep among the roots of your trees, but keep the soil mellow and 
moist at the surface by a high mulching 'of bruised straw or hay, that will prevent the 
weeds from growing. 

<< 5th. Last, but not least, get your trees direct from a nursery, carefully avoiding 

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trees that are hauled in by peddlers in the fall, because such are always killed at the root, 
notwithstanding their green appearance ; and here allow me a little digression. Give 
your preference to home nurseries. You have men here engaged in the business, who 
have spent their life-time judging what varieties of trees you could better plant, for your 
profit and success." 

Mbthod op Cultivation by a Winner of a Prize. 

A statement made by Hiram O. Minick, of Nemaha County, Nebraska, to whom a 
premium was awarded for the cultiuation of a grove of not less than 1,000 trees, gives 
the following account of his method of cultivation : — 

'^ The ground was ploughed in the spring, the same as for a crop of com, and crossed 
out at distances of five feet by seven. The cotton wood yearling trees were procured on a 
sand-bar in the Missouri River, in the fall previous, and hauled in during winter. By 
selecting a spot on the sand-bar where the surface of the sand is but little above the water 
in the river, the yearling trees can be pulled out with great rapidity, probably at the rate 
of a thousand in twenty minutes, the operation being similar to pulling flax, and the trees 
can thus be taken up preserving their rootlets entire, thus securing them in the best 
possible condition for transplanting j and taken at this age they receive but little check 
in their growth by the operation. Fart of my grove was planted with the spade, the 
operation being the same as for a hedge. Another part of the grove was planted by 
drawing a deep furrow with the plough, and dropping the trees at the crossings of the 
furrows, the roots in the furrow and the tops projecting out, and then cover by throwing 
another furrow-slice upon the roots and base of the stock with a plough. This left the 
trees leaning at an angle, say of forty-five degrees, and fearing this position would be in- 
jurious to the trees, I took the pains to place some of them carefully erect ; but upon an 
examination of the trees, after one yeaPs growth, no difference was perceptible in those 
left leaning and those straightened up, as they invariably start their growth from a bud 
near the haae of the stock and grow erect. The portion of my grove, composed of cotton- 
wood, contains about 3,000 ti^s, and was the work of two men, a boy and team, one day 
planting. This required one hand and horse, two days each year, to five acres of ground. 
The maple portion of my grove was planted by preparing the ground the same as above 
and dropping the seed (which had been procured from trees on the Nemaha River), in 
the furrow, and covering with the harrow, and cultivating as above. The seed ripens 
about the middle of May, and is generally very abundant The following may be con- 
sidered as a fair estimate of the cost of the grove : — Hand and team one day procuring 
trees, $3 ; two men, boy and team employed in planting, $5 ; ploughing ground, $5 ; two 
years* cultivation of trees, $9. Total, $22." 


(From an Article by J. W. Davidson). 

" The best method of stocking our prairies with timber, is to prepare the soil precisely 
as you would if you were going to raise a large crop of corn, llie quickest way to raise 
a grove is with cuttings of cottonwood or willow. I plough, drag and mark the same as 
for com, four feet each way, which will contain 2,722 hills to the acre. I should plant 
one-half to trees, four feet one way and eight the other, making 1,631 trees, and the other 
in com for two years, to pay for cultivation, and that is all the cultivation needed. I 
should adopt the same plan in planting acorns, hickory-nuts, white and black walnuts, 
soft maple, elm and ash, where the sprouts are one year old. White pine, arbor- vitee, red 
cedar, European and American larch, when large enough to transplant, require more 

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cultiyation. I estimate the cost of preparing an acre, and getting the cuttings of soft 
maple or ash (they can be had by the thousand along our streams) at $3 per acre. A 
man can plant two and a-half acres per day. That is all the cost for ten years, except 
interest and taxes on land. I have 1,361 trees per acre; seven years from planting, I 
will cut one-fourth, or 340 trees, equal to fifteen cords of wood ; the eighth year fifteen 
cords more ; the ninth the same ; the tenth year you see my profits. I should cut what 
is left, 456 trees. Allow four trees to the cord, so as not to overestimate it I have several 
trees only ten years old, which are fourteen inches in diameter and fifty feet high ; four, I 
think, would make a cord. Allowing six trees to the cord, we have seventy-six cords, and 
with forty-five cords cut before, 121 cords. At |3 per cord, allowing |1 for cutting, I have 
$242. I contend that five acres planted to cotton wood, after a growth of seven years, 
will furnish one family with fuel for one stove a life-time, and sell enough to pay for the 
use of the land besides. I claim, after fifteen years' experience in tree-planting on this 
plan, which I adopted last spring, on Arbor Day, on my new farm in Otoe County, 
Nebraska, that the white willow is equal to soft maple for wind-breaks and fuel, and 
superior to all trees for rapidity of growth, as well as good for timber. Chestnut, too, 
is super-excellent. The climatic influence of timber is discernible in the regular attrac- 
tion of rain and tempering the chilly winds of winter." 


(From an Article by JamM Morrifi,) 

'* What shall we plant in Nebraska that will most quickly and fully meet our require- 
ments T Shelter and shade are our immediate and imperative necessity. To provide 
these we unhesitatingly recommend, first of all, our native trees, in the following order ; 
soft maple, willow, cottonwood, buckeye, ash. The maple is raised from the seed as 
easily as com ; makes a good shelter when strictly planted in rows, and a grateful shade 
where room is given to its lateral branches. It furnishes a fuel, which, though it does not 
consume as slowly as oak and hickory, makes a good hot fire. The willow, objected to 
by many as a harbour for insects, yet offers a complete break to the keen winds, grows 
rapidly to a good size, and some varieties, as the white and the weeping willow, furnish 
good timber for fuel and manufacturing purposes. The common osier, planted upon wet 
spots, will pay as well as iiny other crop on the farm. Cuttings of all varieties are easily 
and cheaply secured. ■ 

" As a source of profit the raising of trees in Nebraska ranks next to the raising of 
stock. A quarter section planted with chestnut, spruce, larch, maple, mammoth aspen, 
or even inferior trees, would, in ten years, yield a satisfactory return for the investment." 

Close Planting op Cottonwood. 

'< Judge Whiting, of Monona County, Iowa, remarked in 1869, that he had at first 
planted cottonwood eight feet apart each way, giving each tree sixty-four square feet of 
ground. They grew well, but too many branches in proportion to the amount of body of wood. 
He had adopted the rule of planting three feet each way, giving nine square feet to a 
tree, and in this order they grew tall and straight, soon shaded the ground, and in three 
years needed no further cultivation than thinning as became necessary, by removing 
alternate rows and drawing out the poles with one horse and a chain." 

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Mr. Sael Foster, of Muscatine, Iowa, in a prize essay on forest-tree planting, offers 
the following suggestions as appUoable in his State : — 

" The larch is of tolerably rapid growth ; growing half-an inch or more in diameter 
each year for the first ten years, and the next ten years fully equal to one inch. This is in 
size equal to our black walnut, and it grows much better and straighter. The little trees 
should be bought of nurserymen, for it is a nice and particular thing to raise the larch 
or evergreens from seed. I would recommend to the farmers of Iowa to buy European 
larch at two years old at $10 to $15 per thousand. They should be set in nursery rows, four 
and a-half feet apart, and one foot in the row, so that when one row is taken out it will make a 
waggon-road through the grove. Larch must be moved very early in the spring, for they 
are among the very earliest trees to start to grow. The ground should be ploughed very 
deep in the fall, then ploughed in the spring, as soon as possible ; harrowed and pulver- 
ized very finely by turning the harrow bottom up the last tim& Then stretch a line^nd 
set with a spade. Have a mud-hole to dabble the roots all in. While the mau uses the 
spade, a boy can handle plants. About 2,000 will be a day's work, and will cover about 
a quarter of an acre. They must be carefully ploughed and hoed for two years, and if 
the weeds start too quick in May and June, the third and fourth years they should be 

" Cost — 8,000 plants for an acre, $80 ; setting out, $8 ; ploughing and hoeing the 
first year, $8 ; ploughing and harrowing Uie land before setting, $4 ; second year, $4 ; 
two years after, $4; interest on the land at $50; ^^g^^ years, at 8 per cent =$3 2. 
Total cost of an acre of European larch, at eight years, $140. 

Plaittikg of the Ash. 

*^ Mr. J. L. Budd, now of Ames, Iowa, in a paper published in the Transactions of the 
Northern Illinois Horticultural Society (1867-'68), advises keeping the seeds of the ash 
through the winter in kegs or boxes, mixed with clean moist sand, taking care that they 
become neither too wet or too dry. Freezing will do no harm. The ground should be 
marked and prepared as for corn, and planted at the intersections, placing four to six 
8*)eds in a hill. They should be carefully cultivated, and the next spring thinned to one 
plant in each hill, the vacancies being supplied. By planting thus thickly, the young 
trees get a straight growth. At the end of six years, every alternate row north and 
south should be thinned out, and at the end of ten years every alternate three in each 
row. When twelve years'old, on good soil and with proper culture the first four years, 
'the grove would have 12,000 trees on 10 acres, averaging eight inches in diameter. By 
cutting the stump close to the ground, and covering with a light furrow on each side, a 
second growth is obtained in eight or ten years more valuable than the first." 

Professor C. S. Sargent, in speaking of this timber, says : — 

" To develop its best qualities the white ash should be planted in a cool, deep, moist, 
but well-drained soil, where it will make a rapid growth. That the plantation may be 
as early profitable as possible, the young trees should be inserted in rows three feet apart, 
the plants being two feet apart in the rows. This would give 7,260 plants to the acre, 
which should be gradually thinned until 108 trees are left standing, twenty feet apart 
each way. The first thinning, which might be made at the end of ten years, would give 
4,000 hoop poles, which at present price would be worth $400. 

" The remaining thinnings, made at different periods up to twenty-five or thirty 
years, would produce some three thousand trees more, worth at least three times as much 
as the first thinnings. Such cuttings would pay all the expenses of planting, the care of 
plantation, and the interest on the capital invested, and would leave the land covered 
with trees capable of being turned into money at a moment's notice, or whose value 
would increase for a hundred years making no mean inheritance for the descendants of a 

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Massachusetts farmer. The planting of the white ash as a shade and road-side tree is 
especially recommended^ and for that purpose it ranks, among our native trees, next to 
the sugar-maple." 


" Mr. Sonson, a highly intelligent Norwegian gentleman, who has made a large for- 
tune in the timber trade, informed me some time ago that, according to a calculation 
which he had made, pine and spruce timber actually costs and is worth much more than 
the price at which it is sold. His theory is, that an acre of grown timber is worth the 
sum that the lowest or nominal price of wild land — say $1 an acre — would amount to as 
an invested capital, drawing interest at the expiration of the period required for timber 
to develop. In the report on Swedish forest culture, it was shown that in the northerly 
parts of Sweden, two hundred years, — ^and on poorer soils three hundred years, are 
required for the pine to grow to good timber. In the south part of the country one hun- 
dred years are sufficient. It may be assumed that one hundred and eighty years are 
required for the growth of pine timber in the north-west part of the United States. 
Now, $1 invested at 6 per cent, interest per annum, will double say, in twenty years. 
In forty years it will be $4 ; in sixty years, $8 ; in eighty years, $16 ; in one hundred 
years, $32 ; in one hundred and twenty years, $64 ; in one hundred and forty years, 
$128 and in one hundred and sixty years, $256. If a thing is worth what, under favour- 
able circumstances, it costs to produce it, then this last mentioned sum of $256 repre- 
sents the value of an acre of land originally bought at $1, at the time pine timber 
will have come to maturity upon it, and this without including the charges of taxes on 
the land. These figures would seem to show that the pine forests of the United States 
are being or have been sold and consumed at a price very much below their actual valua 

" In years past vast quantities of pine timber in the north-west part of the United 
States have been stolen from the Government, and at the very time the latter was em- 
ploying agents to guard it. In very many instances, after the timber has been stolen, 
innocent parties, supposing from the official maps that the land was timbered land, have 
purchased it from the United States at private entry, at $1.25 per acre. Interest on the 
purchase money, and taxes have in the course of twenty years, made such lands cost the 
owners from $3 to $4 per acre, and yet the land would not bring fifty cents per acra 
Many a man has been kept poor paying taxes on such lands. Again timber-lands have 
been sold off in such large quantities and so rapidly as to glut the timber markets 

'' But a more important fact still is that no means have been taken to promote re- 

. growth. Where hardwood timber is cut there is always a chance for regrowth by 

sprouts from the stumps and roots, but with pine and spruce it is otherwise ; and where 

closely growing forests of pine and spruce are cleared without leaving seed-trees, the 

land may remain for ever a waste, growing every year more barren. 

" In the report above referred to, it was shown that the practice in Sweden when 
cutting pine timber is to leave six or seven seed-trees to about each quarter of an acre. 
After five or six years the seed trees may43e cut" 

Profitable Method op Cutting. 

A suggestion of management in some degree. comparable with European methods^ 
was made by Peter Guillet, in a work on timber-measurement published in 1823. He 
says : — 

" Individuals wishing to make the most of their woodlands will find it very profit- 
able to cut their timber by sections, sparing to every acre ten or twelve of the most pro- 
mising size white oaks or pines, whichsoever the soil will produce best ; range the order 
of their land so as to cut a section every year. For example, say a man has 200 acres of 
woodland divided into sections of ten acres each, then, by cutting one section every year, 
he would have young timber twenty years old which makes excellent firewoo<Land I 

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^ should say that in common lands, wood of twenty years* growth would yield fifteen or 
twenty cords of firewood per acre, besides fencing timber sufficient to always keep in 
repair an inclosure of two hundred acres. Then the ten or twelve trees growing in reserve, 
will, at the end of eighty or one hundred years, furnish timber fit for shipping or staves. 
Where land has become useless from long cultivation, a little trouble only is necessary to 
make it productive and profitable to th^ owner. By enclosing it for a few years and 
encouraging the growth of the most promising young trees, which will generally spring 
up spontaneously, all. the advantages above described will be derived from it, which is 
certainly the best way that worn out or sterile land can be disposed of. Such a course 
recommended to and adopted by individuals would not only be to their own private gain, 
but also of great public utility." 

A New-Hampshire Experience. 

" The Hon. Levi Bartlett, of New Hampshire, has given in the result of his expe- 
rience, an interesting illustration of the profits that might be realized from tree-planting 
in this State, covering a period of above fifty years. A tract had been cleared and 
thoroughly burned over in a very dry season, about the year 1800. It immediately seeded 
itself with white and Norway pines, and about twenty-five years after came into his pos- 
session. He at once thinned out the growth on about two acres, taking over half the 
number of the smallest trees, the fuel much more than paying the expense of clearing off. 
From that time, nothing was done with the lot for the next twenty-five years — having 
sold it, however, during that time. Upon examining it, he found that, by a careful esti- 
mate, the lot which had been thinned was worth at least a third more per acre than the 
rest which had been left. It was worth at that time at least $100 per acre. He thought 
that had the land been judiciously thinned yearly enough would have been obtained to 
have paid the taxes and interest on the purchase, above the cost of cutting and drawing 
out, besides bringing the whole tract up the value of the two acres which had been 
thinned out. 

" At the time when this part was thinned (twenty-five years from the seed), he took a 
few of the tallest, about eight inches on the stump, and forty to fifty feet high, and hewed 
on one side for rafters for a shed. At the next twenty-five years (fifty from the seed), 
he and the owner estimated that the trees left on the two acres would average six or eight 
feet apart. They were mostly Norway pine, ten to twenty inches in diameter, and eighty 
to a hundred feet high. He was greatly surprised seven or eight years after, to see the 
increase of growth, especially the two acres thinned thirty years before. The owner had 
done nothing except occasionally cutting a few dead trees. It was now the opinion of 
both, that the portion thinned out was worth twice as much as the other ; not, however, 
that there was twice the amount of wood on the thinned portion, but from the extra size 
and length of the trees, and their enhanced value for boards, logs and timber. There were 
hundreds of Norway and white pines that could be hewn or sawed into square timber, 
from forty to fifty feet in length, suitable for the frames of large houses, barns, and other 
buildings. There were some dead trees on the two acres thinned at an early day, but 
they were only small trees shaded out by the large ones. On the part left to nature's 
thinning, there was a vastly greater number of dead trees — many of them fallen and 
nearly worthless. Of the dead trees standing, cords might be cut, well dried, and excel- 
lent for fijpL Estimates were made that this woodland would yield 350 cords of wood, or 
150,000 feet of lumber per acre. Allowing that these were too large, the real amouj;^ 
must have brought a very large profit on the investment." 

The following from Mr. Emerson, of Massachusetts, is valuable especially in its sug- 
gestions of what might be done to improve our present forests : 

*' On nearly every farm in Massachusetts, more land is under cultivation than can be 
profitably managed. Many acres now in tillage might, with great advantage be turned 
into forest, and the labour and manure, which have been spread upon them, be used in 
the better cultivation of the remaining acres. All that portion of every farm which is 

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hilly or very stony^ and all that does not readily bear good crops of com and grass, may 
be, at comparatively little expense, sown with the seeds, or set with the young plants of 
the most valuable forest trees. The sowing or the planting should be very liberal, 
the young trees, when close together, protecting each other, and the poorer ones, when 
the plants become too close, affording excellent fuel, and serving, as they grow large, 
many important purposes. In this way a valuable permanent wood-lot might be added to 
farms, the owners of which are now obliged, at large cost, to get their fuel from other 

** Much is to be done for the improvement of woodlands now existing. In some 
cases they are managed with great care ; the best means of thinning, pruning and felling, 
are studied and practised. But in msmy cases — ^indeed, in most instances — they are left 
in utter neglect. The consequences are often very visible. In the cedar swamps just 
spoken of, the natural seed-sowing has been so profuse, that the plants spring up thick 
enough to almost cover the ground. Ten or twelve may sometimes be seen on a square 
foot. These grow up well together for a year or two. Afterwards they seem to be strug- 
gling for existence. The growth of all is retarded — almost stopped. In a few years the 
strongest overtop the others, which gradually die. Still the number left living is far too 
great for the ground, and few of them become fine and vigorous trees. All the side 
branches die for want of light and air, and the topmost shoot, never sufficient to form a 
shapely tree, is left alone. The same thing takes place in beech groves. Ten or twenty 
times as many plants spring up as can be sustained. They go on together vegetating, but 
hardly growing. I know instances of beech woods, which have made little perceptible 
growth for twenty years. . . The remedy is obvious. Every year, from the first, they 
need to be thinned. For the first few years the plants removed are of no value except for 
transplantation for fuel. Afterward they are of use in innumerable ways ; the young 
cedars, larches, and chestnuts, for stakes and poles ; hickories for walking-sticks ; oaks 
and ashes for basket work ; lever-wood and hoop-ash for whip-stocks and levers; all of 
the five latter for hoops. .The products of the thinning will thus obviously far more than 
repay the labour, even if this were not necessary for the welfare of the remaining trees." 

Mr. Fay, of Massachusetts, says : — 

" When I bought my place, except a few stinted red cedars at Parker's Point, and 
some white cedars in the swamps, there was not an evergreen tree within three miles of 
my house, and hardly any tree of any kind in sight of it. The woods (oak, beech and 
hickory) were in the dells and valleys behind the hills fronting the sea, and it was main- 
tained that trees would not grow and could not be made to do so, in the face of the salt- 
laden winds from the south and south-west The exposure was certainly great and the 
soil poor, and trees planted singly or sparsely, perhaps, 'could not have resisted it, but dose 
planting made a shelter, and those not specially from an inland habitat (like the white 
maple) have done well, and seem to the manner bom. 

" In twenty-three years after commencing to plant, Mr. Fay has a plantion of 125 
acres, of which he had sown a hundred broad-cast and planted twenty-five. The planta- 
tion consists largely of pine, spruce and larch ; they have succeeded well and are general- 
ly about thirty-five or forty feet high, and a foot through at the ground. Mr. Fay says 
that he planted these trees as a matter of taste and experiment, but that if he had sought 
a market, there would have been a profit already in the sales of wood. He .has en- 
deavoured, he says, to raise a forest about him at the least possible cost of labour, and not 
looking much to the hurrying of the result or to count up an early profit. The^nd was 
denuded, and exhausted, and moss grown, and he took this method to cover it with ver- 
dure and restore it, believing that the wood would compensate him or his heirs sooner or 
later. .... In closing his discursive remarks, he says that, considering the posi- 
tion of his place, exposed on the north-west to the violent winds of winter sweeping across 
Buzzard's Bay, and in summer to the strong breezes from the south-west, bringing salt 
spray from Vineyard Sound, the vigorous growth and promising appearance of his forest 
plantation is very encouraging to those more favourably placed. Not only may the de- 
struction of our forests be partially remedied at a cheap cost, but the waste and sterility 
of our land by long cultivating and pasturing, be removed and replaced with fertility by 

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the siinple process of nature. It is much also, to restore shade in summer and shelter in 
winter, by the renewal of our forests." 

Mr. Morrill Allen, of Pembroke, Mass., sajs : ** A man in Bristol County, about 
fifty years ago, planted a field somewhat exhausted, with acorns ; when the young trees 
were two or three inches high he ploughed and hoed as in a field of Indian com ; the 
trees grew, to the astonishment of the whole neighbourhood, and in less than forty years 
wel^ ripe for the axe. About a century since there was an experiment in this town in 
planting the white oak for ship-timber, the success of which ought to have encouraged 
frequent repetition. The grove was in cutting for timber thirty years since, and a man 
between seventy and eighty years old told me that in his boyhood he assisted in planting 
those trees. It is not to the existing generation so helpless an undertaking as some 
would represent it, to plant forest-trees, even those of slow growth. I recollect measure- 
ing the circumference of an oak tree in West Newbury, the acorn of which was planted 
by Benjamin Poore, who is yet comparatively a young man, and I think it measured 
twenty-seven inches. It is a well-proportioned, handsome tree. Had he planted at the 
same time fifteen acres of similar soil it would have become before now an inexhaustible 
wood-lot for the use of one family. 

'* Another gentleman, also of the name of Fay, of Essex County, commenced, in 
1846, planting on his estate near Lyn^, in Essex County, and in that and the two suc- 
ceeding years planted 200,000 imported trees, to which were afterwards added nearly as 
many more, raised directly from the seed, nearly 200 acres being covered in alL The 
sites of these plantations were stony hill-sides, fully exposed to the wind, destitute of 
loam, their only covering a few straggling barberry bushes and junipers, with an abund- 
ant undergrowth of woodwax, always a certain indication, in Essex County, of sterile 
soil. He employed in his plantations oaks, ashes, maples, Norway spruce, Scotch and 
Austrian pines ; but the principal tree planted was the European larch. No labour was 
expended on the land previous to planting, the trees, about one foot high, being simply 
inserted with a spade ; and no protection has at any time been given them, save against 
fire and browsing animals. I recently visited these plantations, twenty-nine years after 
their formation, and took occasion to measure several of the trees, but more especially 
the larches. Some of these are now over fifty feet in height, and fifteen inches in diam- 
eter three feet from the ground, and the average of many trees examined is over forty 
feet in height and twelve inches in diameter. The broad leaved trees have also made a 
most satisfactory growth, and many of them on the margins of the plantations are fully 
f Arty feet high. During the past ten years about 700 cords of firewood have been cut 
from these plantations, besides all the fencing required for a large estate. Firewood, 
fence-posts, and railroad sleepers, to the value of thousands of dollars, could be cut to-day, 
to the great advantage of the remaining trees. The profit of such an operation is appar- 
ent, especially when we consider that the land used for these plantations did not cost 
more than $10 an acre, and probably not half that amount." 

Mr. Henry Ives, of Batavia, Genesee County, New York, in a communication to 
the New York Farmers' Club in the spring of 1876, states the result of experience in 
tree-planting as follows : — 

" Five or six years ago I planted two acres with four-year-old seedlings of white elm 
and soft maple into forest rows, sixteen feet apart and three feet apart in the row. Now 
the best of them are twenty feet high and twelve inches in circumference, and for thin- 
ning out the rows I sell trees for more money than wheat would have brought, grown for 
these years, and I can continue to sell so until they are so large that I can take them for 
fire-wood, and I am growing a good crop of orchard grass between the rows. So that these 
acres in forest timber are paying as well, and are likely to pay for years to come, as any 
other acres on the farm. I am cutting now the second crop of wood, where the first or 
original timber was taken off about twenty-five years ago, and last winter 1,000 rails 
were taken by a neighbour from one^third of an acre of growth, besides a quantity of 
wood from the top, and timber not making rails. Another neighbour used nice black 

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walnut lumber in building a fine farm house, sawed from the trees he had helped to plant 
when a boy." 

The late Horace Greeley, in speaking of the available opportunity for timber culture 
in West Chester County, remarked : — 

" I am confident that ten thousand acres might to-morrow be given back to forest, 
with profit to the owners and advantage to all its inhabitants. It is a fruit-growing, 
milk-producing, truck-farming country, closely adjoining the greatest city of the New 
World ; hence one wherein land can be cultivated as profitably as almost anywhere else. 
Yet I am satisfied that half its value may be more advantageously devoted to timber 
than to grass or tillage. Nay, I doubt that one acre in a hundred of rocky land — ^that is, 
land ribbed or dotted with rocks that the bar or the rock-hook cannot lift from their beds, 
and which will not, as yet, pay to blast — is now tilled to profit, or ever will be until it ahAil 
be found advisable -to clear them utterly of stone breaking through or rising within two feet 
of its surface. The time will doubtless arrive in which many fields would pay for cleeuring 
of stone, that would not^ to-day. These, I urge, should be given up to wood now, and 
kept wooded until the hour shall have struck for ridding them of every impediment to the 
steady progress of both the surface and the subsoil plough. 

" Were all the rocky crests and rugged acclivitifes of our country bounteously wooded 
once more, and kept so for a generation, our floods would be less injurious, our springs 
unfailing, and our streams more constant and equable ; our blasts would be less bitter, 
and our gales less destructive to fruit ; we should have vastly more birds to delight us 
with their melody, and aid us in our not very successful war with devouring insects ; we 
should grow peaches, cherries, and other delicate fruits, which the violent capf ices of our 
seasons, and the remorseless devastations of our visible and insect enemies, have all but 
annihilated ; and we shall keep more cows and make more milk on two- thirds of the land 
now devoted to grass than we actually do from the whole of it. And what is true of 
West Chester is measurably true of every rural county in the Union." 

The advantages of wind-breaks are set forth by Judge C. £. Whiting, of Iowa, from 
his own experience as follows : — 

" I have, in belts around my fields, varying from single to twenty rows of trees, 
mostly planted 4,356 to the acre, about forty acres of timber. The trees in these belis 
vary as to the time of planting ; some are eighteen years old and some only one year 
planted ; the greater portion are, however, from five to twelve years of age. The needed 
thinning of these belts furnishes all the wood that is wanted on the farm, including 
stakes and rails to keep the fences in repair, posts for all repairs needed, and many for 
new fences I annually build in extending my farm. When my walnuts get a little 
larger I will have all I need and many for sale. There is not a stick of needed timber on 
the farm, from a pea-brush, a grape-vine stake, or a binding-pole, up to a fair-sized saw- 
log, that cannot be had from my groves, without cutting a single tree that does not need 
thinning out from the groves. 

** About iiYe miles of my timber-belts are so planted that I have commenced using 
the standing trees for fence-posts. Where a light fence is not needed, with the use of 
the barbed wire, and a little change in the staple, the use of these live posts is a perfect 
success. Strongly and urgently as I have heretofore advocated the planting of thick 
belts of timber round our fields, each year but confirms me in the opinions then 
expressed. The land that remains will, year after year, produce larger and more certain 
crops than the whole field would produce without such protection. I also repeat that, in 
spite of all the learned discussions and scientific theorizing in regard to the cause of our 
timberless prairies, our cultivated forest trees, year after year, grow right along with 
immense rapidity, in blissful ignorance of all the reasons why they should not grow,'* 

Hon. J. Sterling Morton, of eastern Nebraska, lays down his rules, and mentions 
his results, as follows — 

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"First, the original sod should be broken and turned over in thin, evenly-laid strips. 
When completed, a good breaking will appear, like a vast floor of well-laid two-inch 
plank, painted with lamp-black. Then plant and cultivate, not to see how much you can 
manage, but how well. Then come trees ; walnuts, cottonwoods, willows, mulberries, and 
elm will make the home seem civilized. Tree-planting is an avocation that l^arbarians 
never follow. Indians never adorn their wigwams with orchards, nor indulge in flori- 
culture. There is no record of an aboriginal horticulturist in any book I have read or 
heard of anywhere. It may seem a long time to raise a saw-log from the waJnut which 
lies in the palm of your hand, but the rain and frost of winter and the sunshine of 
summer, together with the fertile and forcing soil of Nebraska, 6rowd a walnut into the 
dimensions of a respectable saw-log in less than twenty-flve years. Upon a farm where 
I have lived, in Otoe County, for more than twenty years, one may see black walnut 
trees which will make good railroad ties, and some which will do to saw up, which I 
planted with my own hands. . . . And again there may be found cottonwood 
sawlogs growing there which are more than six feet in girth, and when I first saw them 
they were only wandering germs, floating in the air, like down from a bird's breast. But 
they are adult sawlogs in 1876. These remarks, somewhat egotistical -though they may 
be, are made for the purpose merely of impressing you, and through you the farming 
people, with the tree-possibilities of this State, and I only preach in this regard what 
I have faithfully put in practice, and the witnesses of the truth of my theories stand 
majestically verifying me all over the farm whence this is written to you, in the form of 
beautiful, thrifty, and valuable fruit and forest trees. Come down and see them, and in 
the hot summer days, while you rest in their shacfe, even their foliage will tell you in 
whispering with the wind how pleasant and profitable a thing it is to plant the prairie 
with trees." 

The following shows in how short a time firewood may be procured from the planting 
of trees : — 

" Twenty years ago cordwood sold in Nebraska city for seven or eight and sometimes 
ten dollars a cord, and that, too, when her population was not one-fifth what it is now ; 
and notwithstanding the demand for fuel is at least ten times greater now than in 1857, 
it is a fact that good merchantable wood can be bought in our streets for from $3.50 to 
four dollars per cord. The reason of this is simply from the fact that the natural groves 
have been protected from fire, and the artificial groves are turning out an abundance of 
good wood, such as the necessities of the country demand for fuel. It will agreeably sur- 
prise any one not acquainted with the fact to know the amount of timber one acre of land 
will produce in the course of ten years. Mr. Richard Justice, who came here (Otoe 
County) in 1857, and planted about ten acres of cottonwood in 1859, has one or two out- 
houses built from hewed logs taken from that grove, and the family have all the fuel they 
need. Hundreds of such cases might be mentioned throughout the eastern portion of the 
State, did space permit." 

Mr. George Stanton, of Simcoe, Ont., writing to the Hon. H. G. Joly, says : — 

** You know that this Long Point country was a great black walnut district, and 
on the Lake Shore there are still quite a few trees left. I have measured to-day, some 
five trees, and got their ages as near as I can, relying on what the owners have told me. 
The first tree that I saw, measured five feet eight inches, four feet from the ground, and 
is twenty-four years old ; it is growing on very rich black sandy loam. 

'* The second measures five feet four inches, three feet from the ground, is thirty 
years old, on very light sand. The third and fourth measure twenty-three and one-half 
and twenty-four and one-half inches respectively, three feet from the ground, and both 
are eleven years old, on good clay ground, but were transplanted when young. The age 
of these trees the gentleman told me he was sure of. 

" Number five measures seven feet eight inches, five feet above the ground, is fifty- 
five years old ; this tree is on very light sandy soil. I mean in all the measurements, the 
circumference of the tree& 

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" You see from this that the soil has everything to do with the growth of a tree ; 
the richer the soil the more rapid the advance, and, therefore, I hope that by putting my 
trees on rich virgin clay soil, I shall have a return in about twenty-five years" 

Mr. James T. Allan, of Omaha, Nebraska, writing to the last American Forestry 
Congress, says that there is a very rapid increase of forests in this comparatively new 
State, and that to-day there are forty-three millions of forest trees growing where, but a 
very few years ago not a tree could be seen on her wide prairies. There are thousands 
of stock farms in Nebraska, the owners of which are practical tree-planters. The value 
of groves and belts of the fast-growing poplars and white willow is well understood, and 
this protection for animals against driving storms, in a country where lumber is not 
cheap or plenty, seems to have been ordained to meet the want. But this want of lum- 
ber for all the needs of the farm will not long exist Hundreds of groves of the earliest 
planted can now furnish work for the portable saw-mill, and these too, are the once des- 
pised soft woods, those of the most rapid growth which are now prepared to equal pine 
in durability. 

The commencement of tree-planting by the Union Pacific Railway, which has yet 
been confined to deciduous trees of sojne ten varieties, and mountain evergreens about 
their stations, so far is successful, and will soon make these grounds objects of pleasant 
attraction to the thousands who are daily moving across the continent. The intention of 
the railway is to plant tracts of considerable extent at different points for a future tree 
supply, and by example induce others to plant the seeds for a crop of railway sleepers^ 
which must be early harvested. 

Mr. W. M. Fennel, of Russel, Kansas, says : — 

" At least one-half of my 6,000 black walnut trees are bearing fruit this season. 
3,500 box alder (ash-leaved maple) transplanted this spring, are all living ; and notwith- 
standing the severe drought which is now parching our section of the country, my trees 
are making a fine growth." 

Mr. John Dougall, Editor of the New York " Witness," contributed to the American 

Forestry Congress, such a concise and complete resum^ of the whole subject that I insert 

it here : — 

" The greater part of the North American continent was covered with forests when 
first invaded by Europeans. These forests had stood for many ages undisturbed, except 
by the slow decay of one generation of trees, if we may so speak, and the slow growth of 
another. These operations had been going on simultaneously since the creation, or since 
the last great convulsion of nature, and the annual falling of leaves and the gradual de- 
cay of branches and trunks had covered the earth with a vegetable mould of considerable 
depth. » 

" A Universal Mine of Wealth. — This mould, possessing all the elements of fertility, 
was an immense treasure, everywhere abounding, and tempting the settler to clear away 
the trees, and re^p the benefit of the virgin soil. When trees were cut down, a crop, 
which had probably required several hundred years to grow, was reaped in a few weeks 
or years, thereby leaving the earth bare, and the vegetable mould was used up in a few 
years by continued cropping in wheat, corn and potatoes. The writer knew an excellent 
bush lot which produced great crops at first to be reduced in ten years to mere rocks and 
stones. And this process of exhausting the vegetable soil went on everywhere as fast as 
settlements advanced. Of course where the subsoil was good, and was turned up in part 
to mix with the vegetable mould, fertility continued much longer, but, in course of time, 

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all except prairie lands were reduced bo much in fertility as to require the application of 
fertilizers at great expense. Had the soil at first required these fertilizers the progress 
of settlement would have been exceedingly slow or more probably there would have been 
no progress at all. 

** Warr (ugainst Trees and its Effects. — The labour of cutting down great trees, cutting 
them into short logs, and piling them into log heaps to bum, was, however, so great that 
a feeling of dislike to trees as the settlers' natural enemy became general and the ven- 
geance against them was so great that in extensive regions the land was completely bared, 
and thus rendered not only unsightly but unsheltered. Bleak winds had full play and 
droughts parched the earth. What was even worse, the clearing away of trees on the 
hills and mountains by the settlers, the lumbermen and forest fires, left the snow of winter 
exposed to the spring sun ; and the sudden melting and running off of this accumulation 
of frozen water made dangerous floods in the streams in early summer and left those 
streams nearly dry in the hot season. 

" Calling a Halt — At length the evil results of the indiscriminate cutting down of 
trees began to be perceived. The improvidence of previous generations was lamented, 
and efforts to conserve what forests were left and to plant trees gradually became popu- 
lar. The first class of efforts was directed to preserving a few acres of the original forest 
in each farm where that still could be done, and merely thinning the trees for firewood, 
fencing, etc., thus leaving the smaller trees room to grow more rapidly. The grove thus 
preserved became one of the most necessary and valuable portions of the farm, and that 
without any labour of ploughing, sowing, or cultivating. It also afforded a delightful 
shade in hot weather for man and beast 

" Forests in the Territories, — The preservation of the vast forests in the territories 
belonging to the nation attracted attention also, and laws were enacted to protect them 
from wanton waste. Secretary of the Interior Schurz distinguished himself for endea- 
vouring to enforce these laws, which are very difficult of execution on account of the op- 
portunities lumbermen have in an almost uninhabited region of cutting trees on Govern- 
ment land, and the frequency of forest fires kindled by careless Indians, hunters, trappers, 
lumbermen and settlers. These fires often do more damage to a forest in a few days than 
lumbermen could do in as many years, and how to prevent them is as yet an unsolved 

" Forestry Laws. — The only remedy, and that only a partial one that can be sug- 
gested, for the wanton destruction of forests, is a national system of forestry laws, 
somewhat similar to those of France, Germany, Austria, Norway, and other European 
countries, which prohibit under severe penalties the injury or destruction of trees by un- 
authorized persons, and also the kindling of fires, or even smoking in the woods. A forest 
police was created to see tp the execution of these laws, and at the same time providing 
for the utilizing of forests by gradual ' thinning out and selling the larger trees, so as to 
leave more room for the smaller ones. In this way the public forests are an annual 
source of revenue, and after centuries of such management they are in as good condition 
as they were at first." 

I will hero imsert, also from the Forestry Congress, the statement of a gentleman of 

great practical knowledge, concerning the first steps to be taken by any who may wish to 

make plantations from seed for themselves. Mr. D. W. Beadle, of St. Catharines, 
said : — 

" It has occurred to me that there may be farmers who are obliged to go to nursery- 
men for young trees when they want to plant them either for useful purposes or for orna- 
mentation, and if they want to plant largely they may find it impossible to get them 
in safficient q^uantity from nurserymen, who generally confine the planting to fruit trees, 
and they have not grown, to any large extent, forest trees for the sake of timber. But 
these parties can form a nursery of these trees themselves by procuring a small piece of 
ground, and have it especially prepared and well manured, so that there will be strength 
in the soil for a few years, and then they can raise whatever kind of tree they want. 
The seeds of elms, maples, ashes, and of the walnut and butternut can be found in almost 

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any part of the Province. The important point in planting by seeds is that they should 
be planted as soon as perfectly ripe. Some .of our trees ripen their seeds quite early. 
The soft maples, the dasycarpum and rubrum, and the elms, ripen their seeds in June. 
These maples ripen their seeds in June, and it should be gathered and sown at once so 
that you can get a tree of considerable growth before the winter season. The seed of the 
elms should also be sown at once ; it should be sown in drills not deeply, but very lightly. 
These small seeds require to be covered with only sufficient earth to keep them moist, 
and they will produce plants in a very short time, and gain sufficient strength to tide 
over the cold season. If, however, you are not in a position to sow the seed at once, and 
wish to keep them till the next spring, they should be mixed with sandy soil and kept 
damp, yet not so damp as to cause them to germinate, and not be allowed to get dry. In 
this way you may preserve them with safety. If kept dry in papers some of them will 
have vitality in the spring, but very many of them will not germinate the next season, 
and the proper way to preserve them is to mix them with moist eartL But it is not true 
of all the maples that they ripen their seeds so early in the season. The sugar maple 
ripens its seeds late in the autumn, as well as the ash-leaved maple, and unless you wish 
to sow them in the autumn, you have to preserve them and sow them in the spring. Now 
come to the butternuts, chestnuts and walnuts ; these all ripen in the late autumn, and, in 
suitable soils, may be planted as soon as gathered, and allowed to freeze and thaw with 
impunity, as they will not suffer therefrom, but will generate freely in the spring. But 
in soils which lie under the «effect of alternate freezing and thawing, it will be better 
to mix the seed with soil in sufficient quantity to keep the seeds moist, and prevent them 
from moulding, and keep them until spring before planting, or they may be spread out 
very thin upon the ground, and covered with a sod, in which manner they ^ill keep 
fresh. It is not necessary that the nuts will be subjected to frost, that is a matter of 
perfect indifference j the important thing is not to permit them to become dry. These 
trees can be grown in nursery fashion, until they attain sufficient size to be planted where 
they are to remain, especially the elms, maples, and ashes. The nut-bearing .trees will 
make better growth if they be planted in the nut where they are to remain. The bass- 
wood ripens its seeds about September or October, generally late in the fall ; those of 
the cedar also ripen in the fall. White cedar is propagated from seed, and when the seeds 
are to be preserved, they should be mixed with nearly dry earth, moist, but not wet." 

Senator Allan gives some statistics, for the accuracy of which he vouches, concerning 
certain trees : — 

" Elm trees taken from the woods as young trees of about six inches round the stem, 
and between eight and nine feet high, have attained in forty-five years a height and girth 
round the stem at three feet from the bottom, in several instances, as follows : — One sixty 
feet high, eight feet in circumference, at three feet from the ground ; one sixty-live feet 
high, eight feet two inches in circumference at three feet from the ground ; one sixty feet 
high, seven feet nine inches in circumference at three feet from the ground. Another 
elm planted about fifty years ago, a small tree from the nursery gardens, has now grown 
to a height of seventy feet, with a girth at three feet from the ground of eight feet six 

'' A red oak, planted as a sapling about forty-eight years ago, is now nearly fifty feet 
high, and measures five feet eight inches round the stem at four feet from the ground. 

'* A maple of the same age is six feet five inches round the stem, and nearly sixty 
feet high, and two others planted within the same period, are six feet in girth at four 
feet from the ground, and between fifty and fifty-five feet high. 

'< All three of these were, when planted in their present position, young trees about 
six or seven feet high — just the size at which they can be most safely transplanted when 
taken from the woods. 

" Of beech I have no record that I can entirely depend upon, but I believe one that 
I measured, which gave nearly four feet as the girth at about the same height from the 
ground, and was about thirty-eight feet high, has been planted over forty years. 

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" A butternut between forty-seven and forty-eight years old measured six feet round 
the stem, four feet from the ground, and has attained a height of seventy-five. feet. 

*' Of two ash trees planted fifty years ago, one is sixty feet high, with a girth of six 
feet five inches ; the other about fifty-five feet high, girth a little over six feet (three feet 
from the ground). 

'* It will be seen from this memorandum that the elm has made the most rapid^ 
growth of all these trees, and the maples come next, although the ash is close upon them. 

**0f evergreens (native). I can only give with certainty the white pine. Two of 
these — both planted fifty years ago — have reached, one a height of near seventy feet, the 
other a little over sixty feet One measures six feet six inches ; the other a little over 
five feet, at four feet from the ground." 

" Mr. Beall, of Lindsay, has experimented with the black walnut. These trees, in 
fourteen years from the seed, have attained a growth of some eighteen to twenty-one 
inches in circumference, are twenty feet high, and have borne nuts for &ve years." 

Mr. Caldwell, M.P.P., says :— 

** Lombardy poplars twenty-two years old, measured by me, are from six feet to 
eight feet four inches in circumference." 

Mr. Beadle says : — 

" Some little blocks of forest have been planted with maple trees, with a view to 
their sugar-producing qualities, and some of these have attained a diameter of six or 
eight inches, and a height of thirty or forty feet. They have been planted some years. 
I do not think they received any cultivation after planting." 

Mr. Roy, at Owen Sound, says : — 

" Ten years ago I planted black walnut seeds, and at the present time two or three 
of the trees bear nuts. They are not only ornamental, but coming to be very useful 
trees. The diameter of two or three of them now will be as much as six inches." 

Mr. Galusha says : — 

" A white willow which has grown from a small cutting put in thirteen years last 
spring, now measures six feet two inches near the ground, forming a head on top thirty 
feet across." 

Mr. Bucke, of Ottawa, says : — 

" There has been a good deal of talk before the Commission about growing trees from 
the seed, but if I were going to plant trees, and particularly maples, I would go into the 
woods and pull up seedlings a few inches high, as I am convinced they will succeed better 
than by any planting of seeds. I planted a number in that way, and they are the best 
lot of young trees I know of. I planted them in nursery rows, about six inches apart 
in the row, and I have succeeded in raising a large number without losing any. I trim- 
med the roots before planting." 


I promised my readers at the commencement of this work, that we should return to 
the valuable report on the forest-j of Canada, issued by the Hon. H. J. Joly. We will 
now notice what his opinion is concerning the rate of exhaustion of Canadian forests, 

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and we must remember that he speaks of the whole of Canada, Upper as well as Lower. 
He says : 

^^ Our forests : — Our public forests are worked by the lumbermen tinder a license 
system, entailing ground rent and stumpage dues. 

" They contain a great variety of timber, but I will principally call your attention 
id the pine and spruce, as they form nearly all our exports to Europe, and are really the 
produce of our forests ; while the hardwood we export, especially the fine oak, nearly all 
comes, at present, from the Lake regions of the United States, as we have very little of 
our own left. 

*' For some time past, the idea has been gaining ground among men who take an 
interest in the future of the country, that our great pine and spruce forests arc getting 
rapidly exhausted, and that, before long, a trade which enables us to export annually 
over twenty millions of dollars' worth of timber (nearly twenty-seven millions in 1874, 
twenty-five millions in 1875, and twenty millions three hundred thousand in 1876), will 
shrink down to wofully reduced proportions. 

" Thinking men have begun to sound the note <rf alarm ; we owe it to them, but 
especially to ourselves, as a nation, to try and find out how far their previsions are likely 
to prove true. • 

*' Apart from our timber lands, a large portion of our territory consists of fertile 
prairies, with rare clumps of fine trees ; of swamps without valuable timber, and of 
barren regions of rocky soil, with only a dwarf stunted vegetation. In those parts of 
Canada where the soil and other circumstances are known to be generally favourable to 
the growth of pine and spruce, and where a pretty accurate idea can be formed of the 
quality of timber already taken off by the lumberman, who can say, without continually 
renewed investigations, how much is getting swept away every year by our great enemy, 
the fire fiend ? 

"Lot us now try and make an inventory of -the timber resources of the Dominion, 
beginning in the west. On the Pacific shores of the Dominion, in British Columbia, the 
bountiful gifts of Providence are still stored up for us, and the forests have scarcely been 
attacked by the lumberman. How long those treasures will last us, and what advan- 
tages we shall derive from them, depends, in a great measure, upon ourselves. 

" Let us now turn eastward, and see if we can learn there, any lesson that will help 
us to manage our forests of the west. 

" From the Hocky Mountains to the Province of Ontario there are scattered here 
and there, certain tracts of well-timbered land, but they are the exception. That timber 
will be required for the local wants of the people who are now only beginning to settle 
our fertile prairies, and it will never, I think, contribute to swell the bulk of our timber 

" The great forest of Canada, par excellence ^ is spread over that vast territory watered 
by the Ottawa, the St. Maurice, the Saguenay, and their tributaries, over one hundred 
thousand square miles in extent. Before drawing your attention more particularly to it, . 
I will mention our remaining timber limits, that cannot compare with it either for 
size or resources. They are found in the Georgian Bay country ; the Muskoka and 
Nipissing regions ; the eastern townships of Quebec and south shore of the St Law- 
rence to the Gulf; the region on the north shore of the St. Lawrence, from 
the Saguenay down to the Bersimis, and, perhaps, still lower down, as far as Mingan ; 
And the country watered by the St. John, the Miramichi, the Restigouche, and Sieir 
tributaries. Those limits, in many places, are scattered and isolated j they have, with 
few exceptions (such as tho Bersimis at the east, and some newly discovered pine tracts 
at the west, on Lake Superior), been worked for a long time, and cannot be expected to 
supply, much longer, any considerable quantity of first quality pine, but they still contain 
an immense quantity of spruce, principally in the east, sufficient for a great many years' 
supply, if carefully worked and protected. The spruce, unlike the pine, reproduces itself 
with wonderful ease, and a good spruce country, carefully worked, where you leave 
untouched all the trees under a certain size, say twelve or thirteen inches at the. foot, can 
be worked and worked again after a few years' rest, I might say almost for ever. 

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'* As a match to the timber wealth of British Columbia in the west, there have been 
lately discovered at the extreme east of British North America, in the recent explorations 
through the hitherto unknown interior of Newfoundland, magnificent forests. Let us 
hope that, before long, they will take their place among our Canadian forests. 

" 1 will now return to the Great Canadian Foresty our great pine country, with its 
wonderful network of streams, and its three great arteries, the Ottawa, the St. Maurice, 
and the Saguenay. 

'' Does it begin to show signs of exhaustion ? Is it possible that, in such a short 
time, man has been able to make an impression upon thos^ millions and millions of acres 
of forest ? 

** If there is no sign of exhaustion, what is the meaning of the complaints that come 
over the seas to. us, evory year louder and louder, about the falling off, in quality and 
size, of our pine, hitherto considered the finest in the world ? Are they no more than the 
ordinary complaints of the purchaser ] I leave it to our lumbermen to answer. 

*^ But, before they answer, I will ask them why are they compelled to go now to such 
enormous distances for the really superior quality of pine they used to get so much nearer 
home a few years ago ? 

*' Look at the map of that great region, and you will see how little of it is now left 
untouched. On the Ontario side, all the m33t accessible tributaries of the Ottawa, the 
Madawaska, the Bonnech^re, Mississippi, Petewawai and others, have been worked for 
years ; the lumbermen are now round the eastern end of Lake Nipissing, with the Mata- 
wan for an outlet to the Ottawa, that can only be reached by a land road ; they are still 
much farther north on the shores of the Montreal Kiver. 

" On the Quebec side, they have nearly reached the head waters of all the great 
tributaries of the Ottawa, the Riviere Rouge, the Riviere du Li^vre, the Gatineau, with 
the Jean de Torre and Lake Kakebouga, and the Lac des Rapides ; they are now working 
three hundred miles higher up than Ottawa, as the river runs on Lake Temiscamingue 
and the Keepawa. 

'* On the St. Maurice, they are as far up as Lake Manooran, on the western side of 
the river ; its great tributaries on the eastern side, the Bostonnais and the Riviere Croche, 
have been deprived of the greatest part of their fine pine ; it is now sought at the head 
waters of those rivers. 

" As for the Saguenay region, it still contains a good deal of spruce, but there is only 
a limited extent of pine still untout^hed, or nearly so, south of Lake St John, between 
the Meetabetchonan and the head waters of the Riviere Croche, near Comissisoners Lake 
and Bouchette's Lake. There is a little pine left north of Lake St. John, and a certain 
quantity on the River Shipsha, and in the lower Saguenay on the Ste. Marguerite and 
Petit St. Jean, etc. As for the large rivers that flow into Lake St. John, the Chamou- 
chona, Mistassine and Peribouca, the pine that was on the lower part of those rivers has 
been nearly all cut, and the remainder of their course, from their distant northern 
sources, is through an immense burnt up wilderness, where the vegetable soil has been 
consumed by fire. 

" That huge tract of lumber country, between the Ottawa and the St Maurice, that 
separated (or, rather, appeared to separate), the lumbermen working on those two rivers, 
by what seemed an inexhaustible and endless forest, — that huge tract is tapped through 
and through, and the Ottawa lumberman has met the St Maurice lumberman on the 
shores of Lake Manooran. A glance at the map will show what that means. 

" Those who think that there will never be an end to our timber may say, * We can 
still go north.' 

" Not very far north. From Lake Temiscamingue and the Montreal River, on the 
shores of which the lumberman is plying his axe at this very moment, they cannot go 
very far north before they strike the height of lands dividing the St. Lawrence watershed 
from the Hudson's Bay, and the country is generally poor and barren. There is still 
some fine pine there, in what quantity is not known, along the head waters of the Ottawa, 
but it canixot be brought down to market, at least as square timber, until very extensive 
and costly works have been executed for the improvement of the great Rapide des 

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** Once over the heights that divide the St. Lawrence and Hudson's Bay watersheds 
one from another, the streams, without which timber cannot be brought to market, all 
run north to St James' Bay and Hudson's Bay. Those regions are generally represented 
as a huge barren wilderness, with little timber and that mostly of a stunted growth. 
There is, doubtless, some good timber, but the idea of driving it down the Notway, the 
Rupert, the Harricanaw, and all those long rivers to the shores of St. James' Bay, and 
taking it home down Hudson's Bay, eight hundred miles long, and through the dangerous 
Hudson's Strait, does not appear very practicable. Whatever timber is there may as well 
be considered as out of our reach for the present ; in the course of time the scarcity of 
timber fit for export may become so great as to encourage the lumbermen to turn their 
efforts in that direction, but that region may safely be left out of our reckoning of the 
present available timber Bupply. 

" In a very short time, since the beginning of this century, we have overrun our 
forests, picking out the finest pine, and we have impoverished them to a serious extent, 
and what makes it worse, impoverished the country too, for, owing to the force of cir- 
cumstances which we shall consider later, our timber export trade has not given Canada 
such a return as she had a right to expect. There still remains to us a great deal of 
spruce and second-rate pine, which for generations to come will be in excess of our local 
wants, if we are careful j but the recdly fine pins, required to keep up our great timber 
export trade to its present standard, is getting very scarce and inaccessible, and I fear 
that we must prepare for a sudden and considerable falling off. 

" While every one admits the great value of the timber trade to Canada, no one 
would complain in a new and scarcely peopled country like ours, if the finest pine forests 
were to disappear and make ropm for fine farms. But, unfortunately, we cannot com- 
fort ourselves with such hope ; the soil of the pine region is not generally favourable to 
agriculture, and when the pine disappears, the farmer does not often take its place. 

«* Men are the same all over the world ; they never set much value upon the free 
gifts of Providence, and disregard them in proportion to their abundance — timber, fish 
and game have been destroyed everywhere in the same way. When what appeared to be 
inexhaustible becomes exhausted, it then begins to be valuable ; we must pay for our 

'* Our neighbours, in the United States, have applied to the destruction of their for- 
ests their superhuman activity and energy, and they are now worse off than we are for 
timber. But their eyes are being opened j the President, in his last message, has ear- 
nestly drawn the attention of Congress to the subject, and the following .quotation from 
the last Annual Report of the Secretary of the Interior, shows how thoroughly they ap- 
preciate the gravity of the situation : — 

" ' The rapidity with which this country is stripped of its forests must alarm every 
thinking man. It has been estimated by good authority, that if we go on at the present 
rate, the supply of timber in the United States will, in less than twenty years, fall con- 
siderably short of our home necessities. 

'' ' It is the highest time that we should turn our earnest attention to this subject, 
which so seriously concerns our national prosperity.' " 

Concerning the ravages of fire in our forests, Mr. Joly says : — 

^* estimated by those who are most competent to form an opinion on the sub- 
ject, that more pine timber has been destroyed by fire than has been etU down and taken otU 
bij the lumberman ; not only is the large ripe timber destroyed by fire, but all the young 
trees too, upon whose growth we must depend for the restocking of our forests. It is not 
practicable, in our Canadian woods, to plant trees to take the place of those that are cut 

*'The difficulty of guarding against fire in such immense and distant forests as ours 
is enormous, and as for extinguishing it when once fairly started, the power of man cannot 
do that. It will sweep onward as long as it can find food, leaping at one bound like a 
giant over such rivers as the great Ottawa and Miramichi, and will only stop when 
brought to bay by large lakes, or when it reaches rocky or barren ground with nothing to 

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bum ; it will riot for weeks, until starved for want of food, or drowned under torrents of 
long expected rain. 

" In France and Germany, where the science of forestry is brought to high state of 
perfection, where the forests are much smaller than ours, divided and isolated one from 
another, kept as much as possible free from rubbish and dead timber and all the light 
stuff that carries on the flames so rapidly, protected by stringent laws, strictly enforced 
for generations ; watched over by large staffs of foresters ; even there disastrous fires are 
of frequent occurrence, and they call for such an effort to suppress them, as is totally 
beyond our power, as the following example will show : — 

** * Considerable pine forests have been created within the last two or three genera- 
tions in the south-west of France, and now cover large regions that were once barren 
heaps of sand rolled up far inland by the action of the sea. Those forests, created by 
man, now yielding a large and ever-increasing revenue, are highly valued and must be 
protected, one would think, as well as any forest can ever hope to be protected. Never- 
theless, fires are frequent among them.' " ' 

Speaking of the safety-strips used as a means of prevention in other countries, Mr. 
Joly says : — 

" Even there, wherever the wind is very strong, it has been found to carry fire, such 
as pine cones, one or two miles, and start fresh fires." 

I may remark, in reply to this, that there should be foresters in advance to watch 
and extinguish these. I have myself been employed at such work, almost^night and day 
for months at a time. Mr. Joly goes on to say further that, 

"Though not always sufficient, those safety -strips are, nevertheless, of great service, 
but their opening is scarcely practicable with us. It would entail incredible cost and ex- 
penditure on account of the great length we would have to prolong them, and the dis- 
tance, and because, furthermore, the brush and timber felled down to make them would 
have to be removed, otherwise it would soon dry up and increase the danger instead of 
decreasing it. Then, to maintain their efficiency, they would have to be kept clear of a 
new growth. We cannot think of undertakinn; such a gigantic work, at least in our large 
and remote forests. Neither can we undertake, as they do in Europe, to clear the un- 
derbrush and to remove the dead wood and rubbish ; but if we cannot profit by these 
good examples, we can, nevertheless, do a great deal to prevent our forests being set on 

Concerning this, I may say that, in another part of this work, I have pointed out 
how these safety-strips might be profitably made and kept clean here. I may here re 
mark that parties making them must not be allowed to fell timber, right and left, into 
the woods as if they were making a road, nor to carry brush, nor leave rail chips in 

Concerning tires by settlers, Mr. Joly says : — 

" A frequent cause of disastrous fires in the woods is the mode of clearing land now 
generally followed by settlers. Of course, they must have recourse to fires in order to 
clear wood lands, hut fire ought to he our servant^ kept under continued control^ not our 

" Wood land can be cleared with comparatively little danger from fire, and be ms^le 
r^ady to sow earlier than by the mode now generally in use (as I know from practical 
experience), if the settlers will only bum the shrubs, branches, leaves and tops at once, 
as they cut them down. Light a good bright fire to start with, after having made a safe 
place for it, and then begin cutting away, and as you cut throw upon the fire at once ; 
children will help immensely with the light stuff, and willingly too. The fire once well 

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started, everything will bum up, the green wood with the sap running out, and the green 
leaves too, not only those of fir-trees, but of every hard-wood tree. As you throw in 
■the branches the whole of the green leaves upon them catch fire simultaneously with a 
sudden flash, and bum up with a crackling sound as if they had been steeped in 

" I have often done it, frequently in wet weather. We get rid immediately of all 
light, inflammable, material, from which the greatest danger of bush fires is to be appre- 
hended ; the larger branches and trunks of trees, if you must burn them (which you 
ought not) present little danger of fire in dealing with them. When you get inconve- 
niently distant from your first fire, you light a second one and let your first one burnout ; 
it is remarkable that those fires generally bum down to the ground more thoroughly than 
the carefully constructed piles that have been drying up for a whole year. 

"Increased safety fro n fires is not the only advantage that would accrue to the 
settlers from the adoption of this mode of clearing wood lands. Take them as a whole, 
for the sake of comparing them, and this mode does not give more work than that now in 
use. True, you have got to convey the stuff you intend burning a little further, because 
one single fire, continued and replenished for some hours, will dispose of as much stuff as 
would have made one or two dozen average piles, but then, think of the advantage of 
having got all that rubbish out of the way at once, instead of having it to cumber the 
ground until next year, when perhaps the season will be too rainy for burning, or so dry 
that you will run the risk of .setting fire to your own farm and the whole surrounding 
country. As the work is now done, even in a small clearing, no settler can keep all his 
fires under absolute control ; he is obliged to wait for dry weather, and then he has got 
twenty, thirty and more fires going on at once. A sudden gust of wind, which is often 
produced by the intensity of the fire itself in the stillest weather, and off the fire goes, 
reaches the fire close by, and meets there with such encouragement as to get very soon 
beyond human control. 

" As a further precaution against the danger to the forest arising from the clearing 
of lands by fire, I would recommend that the Government should confine the settlements, 
as much as possible, to the hardwood lands, of which there are large tracts still available. 
* As a general rule (to quote the words of Mr. Allan Gilmour in answer to questions of 
a Committee of the House of Assembly of Quebec) it is well known that they are of 
much better quality for farming purposes, than those covered to any great extent with 
pine, while they are at the same time much more easily cleared, and will give, as a first 
crop, a good return, in the shape of pot or pearl ashes from the burnt timber, should the 
parties clearing the land choose to make them — a benefit which cannot be had from pine 
burnt in the process of clearing.' 

Mr. Joly recommends also, "Such a study of our unsettled lands as would 
enable them to be classified under two distinct heads — lands fit for agriculture, to which 
the settlers ought to be sent, and lands unfit for agriculture, from which the settlers 
ought to be kept away, for their own sake as well as for the public good." 

I should rather underbmsh in the way Mr. Joly proposes than in any other, as I am 
certain that it would injure the humus of the soil far less than the ordinary way. In my 
clearing days, I frequently thought of trying the plan for this reason, but never actually 
made the experiment It may be remarked that the reason why the settler likrs to leave 
his brush piles lying everywhere till his chopping is done is, that he may then, after it 
dries in the spring, set fire to all together, which often bums up many of the logs and 
saves him much logging. Mr. Joly's plan, however, offers many advantages, and I do not 
know whether, so great is the danger of fire under the old system, it would not be well 
to render his plan of clearing compulsory. v • 

Speaking of the danger of fire from lumbermen and others, Mr. Joly says : — 

" Lumbermen cannot set fire to the forests in winter, while carrying on all the ope- 
rations necessary for the cutting, squaring, and hauling of the timber ; the danger only 

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exists when they drive it down streams, in the spring and often in summer. They light 
little fires wherever they stop on the banks of the rivers, to dry their wet clothes and 
warm themselves, to enliven their few minutes of rest, or, when the season gets more ad- 
vanced, to smoke away the flies. Before the fire is fairly blazing, a shout is heard, and 
as the canoe, or the crib, or the loose logs dart past, our friends take a flying leap upon 
them, and down they go with the swift current, leaving the fire to itself. 

" It ought to be impressed upon the foremen, as one of their most important duties, 
that they must look after their men carefully in the matter of flres. As the lumbermen 
themselves have recommended in their conventions, careful men ought to be selected in 
each drive to see that the flres are lighted and put out with every precaution. 

" Fishermen are more dangerous than hunters. It is not their fault, and 1 do not 
mean to cast any aspersion on their character ; for when we see them exercise, in the 
pursuit of their avocation, so much patience and coolness, we are bound to credit them 
with the sister qualities of caution and prudence ; it is the season during which flshin«; is 
allowed (and during which only it can be allowed), the driest part of the summer, that 
makes it so dangerous. 

*' In granting leases for the right of Ashing rivers, it would be advisable for the 
Government to increase '^^he stringency of their regulations, so as to cause the lessees to 
be very careful how they themselves, their friends, and those under them, light and put 
out their fires. 

"The precautions indicated in the Quebec Act, already alluded to, 34 Yict., cap. 19, 
especially those in section 4, for lighting and putting out of fires in the woods, are very 
practical and effective, and ought to be adopted and enforced everywhere. They order a 
careful selection of the locality where there is the smallest quantity of vegetable matter, 
dead wood, branches, brushwood, dry leaves, or resinous trees; tha clearing away of 
those inflammable materials, within a radius of four feet from the fire to be made, and the 
total extinguishing of the Are before quitting the place. Any honest, conscientious man, 
with a head on his shoulders, ought to take those precautions, and be as careful of the 
property of others as he would be of his own. There are times in the long droughts of 
summer,' when a man is just as guilty who throws down a lighted match in the woods, aa 
if he threw U in a bamfuU of hay, 

'* The enforcement of regulations made for diminishing the danger of Are during the 
Ashing season would not entail such expenditure as might be expected. The wood 
rangers and Ashery inspectors would not have to watch over every square acre of forest, 
an army could not do that. An officer, well up to his work, would soon become 
acquainted with every good Ashing pool where Ashermen are likely to go, and would keep 
an eye en those spots ; in his rounds he might watch, warn, and arrest careless people, if 

Concerning the over-rapid cutting, in the face of the absence of reproduction, in our 
pine territories, Mr. Joly says : — 

" The lumbermen have indicated the remedy for over-production, but have not been 
able to apply it. They can only apply it successfully with the help of the Provincial 
Governments. I respectfully maintain that it is the right and the duty of those Govern- 
ments to interfere ; the right, because the timber belongs to the Province — the duty, be- 
cause they are answerable for every stick of that timber. 

*' Each lumberman is ready to admit that he (or rather his neighbour) is cutting too 
much timber, and that he would make more profit with a lesser quantity. It is bad 
enough that so much money should be wasted away in cutting down timber for no good ; 
but if there was an inexhaustible supply of timber on the Crown lands, the Government, 
receiving a larger amount of timber dues than it might otherwise, would not be likely to 
interfere to protect the lumberman against himself. 

" But our forests are getting rapidly exhausted, and their produce sacrificed ; it is a 
loss for Canada and for the lumbermen. It is full time for the Governments to interfere. 
Will they do it, and can they do it, in justice ? 

'' Of course, the first result of a decrease in the production of timber, in so far as the 
Government was concerned, would be a corresponding decrease in the Crown lands re- 
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ceipts. I won't call it the revenue, because there is something deceptive in the use of 
that word ; we are apt to fancy that it always means (as Worcester has it) * the income 
or annual profit received from lands or other property.' It is nothing of the kind in this 
casa We have not been spending the income of annual profit of our forests, but the 
forests themselves — not the interest, but the capital. 

" It will be said that, without the large sums of money derived from the cutting of 
timber on our Grown lands, the building of railways could not have been encouraged as it 
has been. Nothing can contribute to the prosperity of a new country more than a rail- 
way carefully located so as to satisfy some great public necessity, without calling for sacri- 
fices beyond the forces of the country ; but while looking forward to the benefit to be 
derived from it, the cost must not be forgotten. We have been sacrificing our forests for 
the sake of our railways. 

** So far as mere power is concerned, it seldom happens that a Government can con- 
trol any trade as completely as our Provincial. Governments can control the timber trade 
without laying itself open to the charge of undue interference with business. In this 
cose, the Governments themselves are parties to the trade, since they are the owners and 
the sellers of standing timber. 

" But if we wish to save our forests, the necessity for the prompt application of 

some eflfectual remedy is the same in every Province ; the quantity of timber cut every 

• year must be considerably reduced, if we wish to b&lancc the yearly cutting of our forests 

with their annual growth. The revenue of our Crown lands must shrink, of course, but 

it will become a bona file revenue upon which we can permanently rely. 

" To sum up, the Provincial Governments can do a great deal towards checking the 
over-production of timber, improving thereby the tone of the timber market and preserv- 
ing our forests. 

'' Opinions will be divided as to the best and fairest mode of action, and as to the 
right of the Governments to interfere. If they can alter the amount of timber dues, thej 
can interfere most effectively, and without exceeding the limits of their power, and 
compel, if need be, the lumbermen to submit to such just restrictions as will preserve oar 
forests from destruction. ^ 

" I would recommend limiting the lumberman to a maximum cut of so many thou- 
sand feet per square mile of his limits. Let it be understood, I do not mean that he 
should have to cut so much on each and every individual square mile, but that out of his 
whole limit he should not take more than at the rate of so many feet per square mile. 
Of course, any plan that may be adopted will require very careful consideration and 

I would myself suggest, considering what the European plan is, and its evident suc- 
cess in preserving the forests in perpetuity, that there the Government or the forest 
owner are, in fact, the lumbermen — that is, they point out the sticks that are to be cat 
and dictate the manner of cutting them. And being the lumbermen, and being also the 
owners, the forest is preserved that it may yield in future as it does to-day. I would 
therefore ask whether it would not be well to do one of two things, either sell the 
lumber tract to the lumberman altogether, with the condition that he is limited to so 
many thousand feet per annum, and such further conditions as shall make it his interest 
to preserve the tract in a reproductive and lumber-yielding state, in which case he will 
soon find out the best methods of forestry himself ; or else let Government take entire 
charge, sell what sticks they choose, and see for themselves that their forests remain in & 
condition to replace them. 

Mr. Jo)y speaks of the waste in making square timber, and says : — 

'< In making square pine, the waste of timber is generally estimated at one-fourth of 
the whole, and the best part of the tree, too, that part which in saw logs gives the splendid 
broad deals, for which Canada is famous. As it is not every tree that is sound 

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enough for square timber, many a pine is cut down and left to rot. There may be some- 
thing wrong about the heart or in the length ; that would not have prevented it from 
being turned into saw logs, but won't do for square timber, and so it is condemned. 

" Chips made in squaring trees considerably increase the danger of fire. In summer 
they get very dry and inflammable, and the way in which they are disposed in straight 
lines, thirty, forty, and fifty feet long, like trains of gunpowder, appears well calculated 
for spreading the flames through the dead pine leaves, dry branches, and moss. 

*' But, perhaps, they cannot do without those huge beams of timber in England? In 
meet cases, the first thing they do, when they get them there, is to cut them up.'' 

Mr. Joly proposes that we should cut them up ourselves, and says : — 

*' I think it would come cheaper to the consumer in England. Square timber is not 
invariably sound all through ; when cut up, unexpected flaws and rots are often dis- 
covered that were invisible from the outside. Those flaws would have been discovered if 
the timber had been sawn up here, and the defective parts would not have been sent 

Mr. Joly states that the heavy loss incurred in throwing away so much of the best 
clear timber at the butt of the tree, in order to square ib, is altogether unnecessary. It 
is done, he says, merely to please a few people in England who have large sawmills, and 
have their wealth in the very simple craft of cutting the beams up on their arrival there. 
To check this, Mr. Joly proposes the simple expedient of charging sufficiently high export 
duty on large square timber, in which case, he thinks, and apparently with good reason, 
we ourselves would cut up the whole log to the sizes required, send it all to England, and 
get as much per foot for the whole as we now do for the three-fourths. This would be 
better evidently for the lumberman, for the Government, for the country, and for the 
English consumer. 

Mr. Joly notices that this regulation exists in Quebec : — " It shall be no longer per- 
mitted to cut on Crown lands pine trees measuring less than twelve inches in diameter at 
the stump ; " and in Quebec only ; and states that the same regulation should be enforced 

Concerning the planting of forest trees, he says : — 

" It is not only in old countries, like England, France, and Germany, that new 
forests are planted ; it is in countries younger than Canada, in New Zealand and the 
Australian Colonies, for instance, where wood is not such an object of first necessity as 
with us, and where it is not so scarce as on our western prairies and, I am sorry to say, 
in some of our old eastern settlements. 

** New Zealand, the Australian Colonies, and India have taken active steps for plant- 
ing new forests ; and, at our doors, the United States Government are giving encourage- 
ment, by grants of land and otherwise, to those who are willing to plant trees, while a 
number of societies are working in the same direction. We have only, if I am not mis- 
taken, one society in the Dominion whose only purpose is to encourage the plantation of 
forest trees (I do not speak of orchards). It is in the Province of Quebec, where the 
want of it is seriously felt ; each member binds himself to plant a certain number of trees 
every year. Government will have to give some encouragement, and go to the expense of 
making experiments on a larger scale, before any important results can be anticipated." 

Mr. Joly says, with regard to the selection of trees for planting : — 

'* I have made experiments for several years past, and the conclusions arrived at by 
me are so much at variance with the general opinion of the experienced men to whom I 
have communicated them, that I feel a considerable degree of hesitation in making them 
known. However, they are founded on facts and not mere theory, and no harm can re- 

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suit from awakening public attention to such questions except, perhaps, exposing my 
ignorance and want of judgment. 

" The general opinion is, that soft wood, say pine and spruce, grows much faster than 
hard wood, oak and black walnut, for instance. I have met with the greatest incredulity 
everywhere when stating that it was exactly the reverse. 

** If you take the Douglas pine (abies Dov^lasii), which is described as one of the most 
rapid growers of the coniferous family, making about one inch in diameter in four years, 
there is not much difference to what there is in favour of our oak and black walnut ; but 
if you take our white pine you will find that it grows about one inch in six years. I 
have often seen Canadian oak {Quercua alba) and black walnut (Jtiglans nigra) that 
had grown one inch in three years and a-half. As for white spruce, it is nowhere as com- 
pared with either oak or walnut or pine ; men who have handled it all their lives have 
never thought of ascertaining what its rate of growth was ; if they would only count the 
annual rings from the heart to the circumference, or even one or two inches long of them, 
they would be surprised to see what a slow grower white spruce is. 

'' If our black walnut and oak do really grow faster than the pine and spruce (as I 
think they do, and it is very easy for one who chooses to find out for himself), it is one 
point in their favour. A second point is that they are easier to grow from seed (nut and 
acorn) than pine, and that they bear transplanting better ; the drying off of the top is not 
so fatal to hardwood trees as it is to conifers. Having sown a good many of each kind, 
I have often noticed that the oak and black walnut acquire strength and vigour sufficient 
to protect them against ordinary accidents much sooner than the young pine, which is 
much more brittle. 

" Then, again, a forest of oak and walnut is not exposed to the same danger from 
fire as a pine forest is ; I would refer to the chapter of fires by settlers, in the first part 
of this report, for proofs of the correctness of this assertion. 

" As the timber of the black walnut and oak is much more valuable than the pine 
and spruce, as their growth is more rapid and more secure, and as they are less exposed 
to the danger of fire, they appear to be entitled to preference over pine and spruce for 
planting where veir the soil is favourable to them, as it is in the western prairies,, whose 
fertility is well known, and where, as Professor Macoun says, all our forest trees will be 
easily grown. 

"In dry, sandy soil, of course, the conifers must have the preference." 


We will now proceed to consider, in the light afforded us by the preceding, what 
should be done to preserve the due proportion of forest and consequently regular summer 
rainfall in Ontario. My readers will have noticed of what vital importance it is 
to preserve the higher lands in forest. There are four elevated ridges or plateaux in 
Ontario. The first and nearest of these is that, well known as the Oak Ridges, north of 
Toronto about thirty miles, which passes round to the west, coming at Hamilton close to 
the Lake, going round the head of the Lake, and dying away in the Niagara peninsula. 
Going eastward from the same point, thirty miles north of Toronto, it gets much nearer 
to the Lake at Cobourg ; passes on, strikes the Lake at the Trent and dies away there. 
This ridge being near the front, and entirely in the older settled portion of the Province, 
has probably long ago altogether passed out of Government hands* Much of it is by no 
means the best of soil, and could it have been retained in timber, and the height of the 
trees increased by replanting, the benefit to the Province would have been incalculable ; 
for this long belt of forest would have met, and precipitated into rain, the moisture of the 

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south-west winds coming across Ontario and Erie, which rain would then have frequently 
and regularly fallen through the summer ,on the great cultivable area of land to the 
north, instead of passing, as it now does, largely on to the Nipissing forests. In any scheme 
of planting forests for the benefit of the Ontario climate, the reforesting of portions of 
these ridges would exercise an influence extremely valuable. I should therefore recom- 
mend that the possibilities of working in this direction should be carefully considered. 

Thk Watershed between Kingston and Nipissinq. 

This is a true watershed, the rivers running both ways from its summit. The height 
of land extends, with a slight curve to the north, from Kingston to Lake Nipissing. To 
the east of this all streams flow into the Ottawa j to the west of it they flow 
into Lake Ontario. Much of the land on this ridge is still in the hands of Govern- 
ment, and, both for purposes of increasing rainfall, and preserving moisture at the 
source of numerous and important streams, it would be well that large masses of 
forest were preserved along the whole line. Along this line, if possible, hundreds of 
thousands, or even millions of acres might well be left in forests ; for this ridge should be 
the preserver of fertility and source of moisture to the whole of eastern Ontario, from 
Toronto to the Ottawa, If this line should be allowed to become deforested, very injuri- 
ous results may be expected throughout all Ontario, east of Toronto. On the other hand, 
if forest be maintained there, clearing can then be proceeded with along the whole 
north-east of the preserved forest, and this cleared region will then receive the spring 
and summer rain precipitated by the preserved line of forest along this watei*shed. 

The Watershed of Western Ontario. 

This is a height of land in about the centre of western Ontario, and is best known 
as the locality of the great Garafraxa Swamp, which contains many thousand acres. Such 
of this as is not in Government hands, might, no doubt, easily be obtained, and probably, 
much land in the neighbourhood cheaply added thereto, and the timber on the whole 
reservation carefully preserved and increased by planting. This central point is a thou- 
sand feet above Lake Ontario, and from its four sides the rivers run to the Georgian Bay, 
to Lake Huron, to Lake Erie, and to Lake Ontario. 

The Blue Mountains. 

This is a ridge of mountains at the extreme north of our peninsula, extending from 
near Oollingwood, past Owen Sound, and to the northern point of the promontory extend- 
ing between Lake Huron and the (Georgian Bay. Much of this is yet in the hands of the 
€k>vemment, and much of it should, if possible, be preserved in timber. 

For the purpose of attracting rain in summer and spring, which would otherwise 
probably pass to the north on its way to the pole in the great equatorial air current, there 
is little reason to doubt that large masses or belts of forest, left standing on these ridges, 
would be more efficacious than a much larger amount left scattered through the country. 
Moreover, these elevations are the natural storehouses and reservoirs of moisture. The 
woods on their slopes were intended to hold the water of rain and snow from flooding the 
land when it was not needed, and to deal it out in creek, river and underground channeL as 

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it should be needed throughout the year* Any one who has read the valuable records^ 
examples, and statements, collated and compiled in the preceding part of this volume, will 
need no further evidence, and will well understand, on being shown the heights of land 
and watersheds, what should be done with them. It is extremely desirable that they be^ 
where possible, maintained in a forest state, the manner of doing which has been previ- 
ously explained ; and that, where disforested, they be, in preference to any other land, 
the scene of foresting operations. 

It should also be pointed out that it has been found in every C3untry where forestry 
is practised, expedient to set in operation several nurseries for the purpose of raising the 
seedling trees adapted for planting, of such varieties aa are most suitable. These should 
be selected, not necessarily in any of the localities described as heights of land, but as a 
small portion of land would be sufficient, in any part of the country, where the soil and 
situation were considered most favourable for the young plants, considered with regard to 
their future destination. This can be well learned by consultation with those who have 
made such experiments, of which some are reported in these pages. It may be remarked 
that, although it is recommended by some experimenters to rely on the forest for seed- 
lings, yet in other countries, where equal or greater facilities exist in that respect, nur- 
series are always found necessary, and would, for various reasons, probably be so hera . 

It would appear that, in planting or preserving these heights of land, the trees 
chosen should be largely of the pine variety. In the first place, their height is o£ great 
additional service. 2nd. They are evergreen, and preserve deep forest shade and shelter 
in summer and winter, spring and fall. 3rd. The soil of these localities is likely to 
resemble that found suitable to these trees in other lands. 4th. They may be relied 
upon for a paying return, year after year, if preserved with care, as this is the most 
valuable tree for commercial purposes. 5tL They will, many authorities say, grow to 
size fit to cut much sooner than the hardwoods of equal value. 6th. They can be, it 
appears, very successfully interspersed with the hardwoods, especially the beech, which 
would add to the plantation all the advantages of a deciduous forest 


As mentioned in the first part of this book, there is a great and largely untouched 
forest to the north-east of the Province of Ontario. The reason why this mass of forest 
has not been ere this more deeply penetrated by the settler is, that the land is not 
nearly so good for agricultural purposes as that in the older settled districts of the 

In one word, it is the Laurentian formation, an outcrop of the backbone of the 
world, and that backbone, unlike other bones, contains no lime ; it is a granite formation, 
and, though there are in parts of it opportunities for obtaining lime from the gneiss rock, 
yet^ do what you will with it, this district will never equal in an agricultural capacity 
(ccBteris paribus) that based on a limestone formation. The detntus of granite is not, 
and in the nature of things cannot be, for agricultural purposes, in any respect the equal 
of the detritus of limestone. This great region is reached from Toronto at a point near 
Gravenhurst, and its border would be marked by a curved line from Gravenhurst to a 

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point about five miles east of Kingston. To the north-east of all this line is a vast mass 
of forest, pierced in many points by colonization roads, and interspersed with clearings 
along its southern edge. To this district we may add the Maskoka and the Parry Sound 
regions, which are, in many respects, similar. In these three are situated great pine 
districts, many of which have been cut over by the lumberman, while much is yet 
untouched and in the hands of Government. It is, it appears to me, a matter of great 
importance to preserve many of the pine forests in these vicinities, and that for these 
reasons : — 

1. They are the true pine reserves of the older districts of Ontario. 

2. The land whereon they stand can never yield, for purposes of agriculture, any- 
thing like the return it is capable of producing if maintained in continual pine-bearing 

3. If proper care be taken these "great districts can, by the adoption of European 
methods, be placed in a state of continual reproduction, which will allow, every year, 
a very large amount of valuable pine to be cut without clearing the land or in any way 
injuring the forest capacity for production. 

4. It would be far better to commence the preservation of forest areas along the 
present existing line of clearing than to commence similar operations much farther back. 
If, as is stated, the land is much better farther to the north, it would be bette.r to renew 
the clearing there, so as to leave a broad belt of forest to the south of the new settle- 
ments; for a forest district to the south (without prejudice to the height of lands 
considerations) will attract summer showers to the cleared land north of it, while from a 
north forest comes little rain at the season when most needed. 

Protection from Fire. 

The great difficulty in maintaining forests in this country lies in protecting them 
from the ravages of fire, to which they are peculiarly subject. Our hot summers dry the 
edge of the forest, the cuttings left by the lumberman greatly increase the danger, the 
cattle of the settler dry and impoverish the forest edge for many miles, a dry season 
comes, fire is ignited by the clearing fires of the settler, by those of the lumberman or the 
hunter, or it may be at some point where the railway has touched the forest line, by a 
spark from a locomotive. There are two seasons when fires are likely to run — the first 
is during the hot months of summer, the second late in a dry fall, when the fire runs on 
tho thick carpet of dry leaves. This last I think the more rapid of the two. I have 
seen it come miles abreast through the forest with the speed of a fast walker, firing 
every inflammable substance in its way. The terrible devastation caused by these fires 
when under full headway is ruinous beyond imagination. Hundreds and thousands of 
square miles of beautiful forest have been reduced ^^o ashes in periods of a fortnight or 
even of a week. It has been well remarked by persons fully competent to express an 
opinion on the matter, that the fire destroys more timber in Canada than the axe. If, 
• then, some means could be devised to check this devastation, the result would, no doubt, 
be extremely beneficial to the country. 

The recommendation I have to make, with respect to these forests, is one based 
partly on the character of iAie soil, partly on the practice existing in India and in Europe, 

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and pursued there with the same inteation. It is impossible to preserve the extenaiye 
Canadian forests from fire without appointing certain rangers, few or many, as may be 
judged expedient, whose business it shall be to carry out, in this country, as far as their 
numbers will allow them, the policy pursued in European countries of guarding against' 
fire, giving warning where it occurs, and prosecuting all individuals who infringe the fire 
laws established by Government. To my own knowledge, the laws enacted by the 
Ontario Government with reference to the management of fires, their lighting and extin- 
guishing, are carelessly observed ; or even altogether ignored in the back districts 
through which I have travelled. I should, therefore; recommend that a certain number 
of men be appointed to watch breaches of these laws and institute the necessary 

The East Indian practice to which I refer is this. In the vast Indian forests, under 
the careful supervision which has been established there by the Indian Government, every 
efiort has been made to suppress or hold in check what with them is a still more danger- 
ous enemy than with us, the ignition of the forests. The principal means recommended 
and used by them is, the cutting of what are called ^re lines through the forests for long 
distances. These lines, it is recommended should be made two hundred feet wide, and be 
kept quite clear of brushwood, or any other inflammable matter. 

In travelling through different parts of this north-eastern district of Ontario, and 
having in successive years passed over several hundred miles of it in different directions, 
I became decidedly of opinion, that the whole country was far better suited for extensive 
grazing grounds, interspersed with manufacturing villages, than to be given out in one or 
two hundred acre lots to the ordinary settler. Considering the character of the land, I 
am of opinion that many ordinary settlers will not be able to give it that care which alone 
can maintain its 'fertility j I fear they will, in many instances, be obliged to overcrop it^ to 
impoverish it, and to abandon it. The granite formation, I fear, will never show the 
staying qualities of the limestone-founded portions of Ontario. On the other hand, I 
think if much of this land were given out to men of capital, who would be willing to 
establish large grazing farms thereon, they would be able to cover the soil with a heavy 
clover sod, which, with careful management might be maintained for ever. 

I will, then, suggest what would be my plan if some millions of acres of this vast 
forest were mine, and I were desirous of preserving it from the ravages of fire. I would 
cut the fire protecting lines, as used in India, through and through it at different points, 
clearing them thoroughly from brushwood, but I should make them wider, say, a hundred 
yards broad, and I should suggest that paths a hundred yards broad cut through these 
forests, and fenced at each side, would make excellent grazing runs for cattle, if got under 
grass, and would operate as most effectual firebreaks. I should think that an arrange- 
ment might be made whereby graziery would gladly lease these lines, undertake to seed 
th^m with grass and use them for tlie fattening of their cattle, which would readily find 
water at the numerous streams these firebreaks would necessarily cross. A portion of the 
consideration paid for the use of these grazing-lines, might well be the undertaking on the 
part of the grazier to send a certain number of men to extinguish any fire which might 
arise in his vicinity. In this manner, I conceive that, by the assistance and sapervision 

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of a small force of Government rangers, very large forests might be preserved from the 
ravages of fire. 

In connection with the manufacturing capacities of this region of country, I would 
remark, that it possesses many and valuable water-courses, which would dry up were the 
country cleared, but which the retention of the forests will retain in full value. I 
would also state, that the quality of the water flowing over the granite bed, it being 
free from lime, is remarkably well adapted to various textile manufacture, and would sug- 
gest that large manufacturing villages and to^ms might find occasion for profitable exist- 
ance in the heart of the large forests which, I conceive. Government should retain in this 
part of the country. 

I would also suggest that such towns and villages will by no means lack communica- 
tion with other parts of the country, as the Canada Pacific, and its connecting railways, 
will pass through the present wilderness near the vicinity where it is desirable these forests 
should he maintained. 

I would here suggest that large portions of forest might be preserved, let us say, after 
the merchantable lumber has been carried off by the lumberman, by allotting them in free 
grants to persons who would undertake to maintain the land in its wooded condition. 

The opinion of Mr. Ward, of Montreal, is, "To have our country remain well 
wooded for many years, it is but necessary to give the trees indigenous to our country 
leave to grow, and there will be no necessity to plant. I have no doubt but that much of 
the land that has been denuded of its timber would in a few years be covered with a 
spontaneous growth of wood, and so prevent our country from becoming an arid waste, 
utilizing only that portion of it that can be profitably worked." Mr. Cleveland, of 
Chicago remarks " A vast area of woodland is running to waste, yielding no revenue and 
promising nothing better in the future than firewood, of which a very large proportion is 
yet susceptible of redemption and conversion into timber of great value, at far less cost of 
time and laboui* than would be required for the planting and rearing of new forests.'' If 
then we give free grants of land where clearing and cultivation is desirable on condition 
that the land be cleared and cultivated, I should think it would be well to give free grants 
of forest where forest is desirable, on condition that the forest be kept in good order, that 
it be fenced against cattle and thinned as directed by regulations which should be laid 
down by a Government official of knowledge in such matters. This would give people 
who wish to acquire land, without being compelled to reside thereon, the opportunity of 
doing so, as they could hire the necessary labour and care, of persons in the neighbour- 
hood, and they would naturally see that their employees preformed their duty properly, 
since that would constitute their only right to the land, and their only protection against 
fire overrunning it. 


A word may well be said here on this subject Full control of this territory is 
withheld from its proper possessors by the delay in ratifying the Boundary Award. 
It contains a large quantity of very valuable timber, comprising one of the chief timber 
reserves in all the North- West, so far as present information is obtainable. This 

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timber, in a position where it will always command ready sale, and comparatively 
untouched by the lumberman or settler, offers as yet a most excellent opportunity not 
only for procuring timber, but also for maintaining the supply. If this reserve were at 
once t^ken in hand and managed on the European or East Indian plan, those trees only- 
cut which are of age and size, and cut so as not to injure others; and the whole forest 
then mapped into sections, each in charge of a competent forester, the forest could be 
maintained in perpetuity as good as, or better, than it now is, and a large supply of the 
best lumber yearly drawn therefrom. 

Further hindrance of the right of control belonging to Ontario will be most prejudicial. 
For in the meantime the demand for lumber in the North- West will grow apace ; private 
individuals will commence to cut ; lumbering operations will be carried on by rival 
parties ; and as soon as these operations are proceeded with on a larger scale, and with 
the reckless haste which probably will characterize them, fire is certain to occur, proba- 
bly at many points, and, in that region of rocky timbered slopes and ridges, fully open, 
too, to the sweeping prairie winds, it may well be expected from what has happened in 
far less exposed localities, that before the boundary is found, this great forest, of price- 
less value if properly used now, will be utterly lost. 



To produce their best effect on climate, three points are to be observed. 1st To 
occupy the heights, firstly that they are generally of poor land well spared for that purpose ; 
secondly, that wooded elevations preserve rain, feed springs, and continue water-courses in 
regular action. 2nd. They should be of considerable depth as well as length, as a thin 
line of forest will not by any means preserve the moist and humid atmosphere within 
their bounds on which their beneficial action depends. For such purposes, they should 
not, if it could be avoided, be less than a mile in depth from front to rear, and they had 
better be ten or twenty. To act as reservoirs of humidity they must be of fair extent, 
otherwise they will neither be able to feed the water-courses, nor to send upwards to 
the clouds those moist currents which, it appears by all experiment, nreeting with a 
differently constituted atmosphere of the air, produce rain at those seasons when it is 
most needed. 3rd. If possible, such forests should stretch across Ontario in lines from 
north-west to south-east. They would then be in position profitably to intercept the 
south-west wind, which is the great bearer of moisture hither from the Gulf of Mexico 
and the tropical seas. For instance, as has been observed, the great forest north-east of 
Ontario does not bring much rain relatively to Ontario. Most of the rain a forest 
obtains will fall north-east of that forest. The exceptions are when an east or north east 
wind, meeting the south-west current, produces rain, and is sufficiently strong to carry 
before it the rain-bringing current; but this is not to be depended on, the intention in 
endeavouring to preserve the forest in the line mentioned, being that the ascending cur- 
rents shall meet and produce rain from the moisture-bearing winds, which are mostly 
south-west in reality, though often deflected and turned away by local or other influences. 
Of course it is not expected that Ontario can be mapped out in field and forest at this late 

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day. But we can know in what direction to strive here, and where forest overspreads the 
whole coontrj, as in part of oar territory elsewhere, very much indeed can be done. 

It must always, however, be remembered that east, and even north-east winds, can 
and do bring rain of their own force from the Atlantic direction. But the south-west 
wind is the chief rain bringer. The others may be called, with reference to Ontario, 
local. The south-west wind brings moisture to the whole northern hemisphere. 


Premiums have been very properly offered here, in a Bill just passed through Parlia- 
ment, to those farmers who shall plant and maintain in growth certain descriptions of 
trees. The Bill refers principally to lines of trees set along the highway and the dividing 
lines of farms. These, or small plantations of any sort, are valuable, but by no meant 
fulfil the functions of deep baits of forest. Their great value is, if planted over sufficient 
sections of country, that they preserve the land from drying winds, and in that way, if 
they do not, as the forest di^es, bring rain, they preserve the effects of rain for a much 
longer period. Secondly, and a very important benefit indeed, they prevent the wind 
from drifting the snow off the fields they enclose, and the roads bordering them. Left 
evenly on the ground, the snow is a vast benefit to the soil and the coming or existing 
plant; driven into great heaps by the wind, it not only injures both, but also renders 
transport over the roads difficult or impossible. 


It will be seen by the accompanying list that the state of Ontario, as regards posses- 
sion of forest land, is as follows : — On the north-east she has a large forest, and in Mus- 
koka and the Georgian Bay District, forests of some size. These are all the Province 
possoflsee to feed the streams, we may say, east and north-east of Toronto, and they 
largely at present perform that function. But the whole great peninsula to the west is 
destitute of most of the original forests on the elevated lands which gave her rivers water, 
and has little in the way of woods save the small reserves farmers have kept for them- 
selves on their farms. As I pointed out previously, these are being rapidly used ; one 
after another they fade away from the land and are not replaced. The accompanying 
li^sts will show exactly exactly the acreage under wood still left in each county, and when 
we remember that but a century ago all was forest, we shall be amazed at the rapidity of 
destruction ; and, noticing how fast the small reserve is disappearing, we shall be quite 
convinced that in a very few years, unless remedial measures are successfully applied, the 
great peninsula of Ontario — oua chief territory in a farming sense —will be to all intents 
and purposes, as far as climatic influences and connections are concerned, a disforested 
land. And I may here observe the fallacy of the statement sometimes ventured, *'0h, 
we cannot be in want of forests, there are so many million acres in Ontario, and of 
them only so many are cleared!" May 1 ask what this has to do with the question) 
Neither the woods of Keewatin nor of Muskoka can in any degree assist the farmers of 
the great Ontario peninsula, from Windsor on the west to Toronto and Colling wood on 
the east. Nor will the small patches left on each farm assist them. /^^^yi<^^-t9^^ftll 


and too isolated, and far too certain to vanish, to maintain the proportion of shaded land 
necessary for climatic purposes. But these districts, it is said, give fair crops now. They 
do not yield so easily as once, nor is the sky so propitious now, as the careful investiga- 
tions of Dr. Bryce and Prof. Dewey, some pages back, show. But the great point is 
this, — they soon will, in all human calculations, suffer severely. Now, if the matter be 
commenced in time, we have yet space, before it be too late, to carry out what all civi- 
lized countries have acknowledged the necessity of and are to-day engaged in, — the work of 
making provision for a continuous forest area, and constant supply of merchantable timber. 
Something can be done, and no doubt should be done, in certain parts of Ontario 
towkrds replanting our destroyed forests — destroyed in localities where forest, to improve 
climate and subserve agriculture, should especially have been allowed to remain. But 
the great opportunity which yet remains is that of preservation. This is found to be the 
case in India. The Government of that great country, expending yearly its hundreds of 
thousands of pounds sterling for preservation and replanting, Itaus not yet planted a 
hundred thousand acres, while it has improved, is improving, and has to a very great extent 
already changed for the better, the character of many millions of acres of forest land. If 
we pass through much of the forest which Ontario still retains in governmental hands, 
we shall find, here and there, many a large expanse desolated by fire and growing up 
again, a brushwood choking itself to uselessness, covering a burnt and impoverished soil. 
We shall find great areas of forest the lumbermen have culled of pine and spruce, of ash 
and oak. Every here and there are the relics of their operations — ^the cloise hewn stump, 
and, a goodly distance therefrom, the great pile of decaying branches where the head of 
the tree had fallen ; while the whole distance between, if round timber had been got out, 
shows nothing but a few scattered side limbs, but if square it is paved with immense 
pine fragments — ^short thick slabs wliose deep clean cut show the force of the score- 
hacker's arm, and long lengths of those peculiar chips, slightly connected, thin and broad, 
smooth on one side, the depth and straightness of which show how deftly the handler of 
the broad-axe has plied his unwieldy tool, ; and if you come near the stump, and it 
has been heavy timber squared for the English market, you will find in great masses, 
hewn off, thrown away and rotting, as much clear timber as, sold at Toronto prices, would 
go far towards the whole sum the lumberman will ever get for the log. The piles of 
debris are everywhere, and form a most inflammable portion of the touchwood of a foi^st 
Then before the strong oxen could drag the great log. to the river down which it had to 
be floated an avehue of smaller trees had sometimes to be cleared from the way, and these 
likewise piled in desicating heaps, their skeleton branches protruding among the green 
undergrowth, like the ghastly relics of mortality on a forgotten battle-field, cumber the 
forest floor. 

You will find many places where trees are choking one another for want of air and 
light, until in lapse of years some stronger one shall tower above his fellows. Tou wi]I 
find places where hurricanes have cut their way through the forest, and the trees lie for 
miles, as the ranks mown down by the mitrailleuse. You will pass the solitary bush 
road, the trees which once grew therein chopped right and left into the forest by the 
makers of the track, where they lie in dry heaps for miles on miles, forming as pretty 
a fire-track as one could wish to see. And everywhere you will find millions of young 

win una millions of yoi 

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trees giving full promise, if spared axe and fire, of becoming trees as sturdy as any the 
lumberman has carried away, but nevertheless, the impression produced on you by the 
whole pilgrimage will be that, if no preventive measures be used, the fire which has taken 
80 much already will sooner or later take the rest When one compares the state of our 
forests with that of those in some parts of Europe, and thinks of the long avenues of fire- 
breaks, the forest-rangers on the watch, the careful management, the incessant thinning 
and replanting, the long succession of goodly trees yearly ready for the axe, and the cer- 
tainty, with equal care, of such a succession for all time to come, one is apt to think it 
full time that some such system were introduced here. 

Thb Possible Profits. 

It is to be remembered that (whether in the case of planting, or that of forest 
preservation), what is proposed wiU not be an unremunerative work. Putting alto- 
gether to one side the vast benefits to be expected in climate and in crop, there are direct 
returns of no small amount. For instance, most of the European reports give, after 
all expenses are paid, a large aggregate annual income, as does the East Indian also. 
Taking the opinions of scientific men, Mr. Galusha's estimate is that ten acres planted in 
ash and walnut will within twenty-five years produce sixteen thousand dollars in profit 
over expenses, (^ther estimates, by men who have practically experimented, give even 
more, especially in the case of pines. Let us take the figures of the gentleman named. 
He allows $20 per acre for cultivation. Let us increase it, and say cultivation costs $50, 
and that five thousand instead of ten acres are tried. The amount spent would be $50,000 
a year for five years. The return at the end of twenty-five years would be eight millions 
of dollars. And, all this while, 'the plantation would be a valuable asset upon which 
money could, if expedient, be borrowed. And it is to be noticed that more profit may 
well be expected than has been gained, for the valuable descriptions of wood will grow 
scarcer and dearer while, during the experiments stated (such of them as were practically 
carried out), these woods were purchasable at low rates. In fine, it is a work in which 
great climatic and agricultural advantages are sure to be gained, while, as for the money 
advantages arising from the sale of timber, the only reason why Canada will not immedi- 
ately profit as other nations do is that she has yet much timber for use and sale with- 
out having to grow it. But the time to commence what will be a work of time, is while 
there is yet no actual scarcity of the article to be produced ; our existing forests will give 
us time to grow others ; and above all, there is the necessity for action to preserve from 
fire and waste those which now stand. The means and system used to procure fresh 
forests will largely tend to preserve the old in efiiciency. 

I will give here a few additional statements of profits from the Congress Reports : — 
Mr. David Nicol, Cataraqui, Ont., says of the European Larch : — 
"Experienced planters have long ago decided that the larch should be planted 
entirely by itself, because of its quick growth, it soon outgrows all other trees, and when 
scattered thinly throughout the forest, the tender top shoots are apt to be damaged by 
high winds ; they do best when planted thickly, because they shelter one another ; they 
are often planted as near as three feet, and sometimes as near as two feet, but I would 
prefer the former distance ; planted at this distance, they rapidly shoot up straight, clean. 

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and healthy. At three feet apart, an acre contains about 4,900 ; in this state, they should 
be allowed to remain six or seven years, when they will have attained the height of 
twenty feet, if they have been well cultivated the first three or four years ; they should 
then be thinned for the first time by taking out every alternate row ; the thinnings make 
the best quality of hop-poles, worth at present about five cents apiece — 2,460 poles, at 
five cents, brings $122.50. Then being allowed to remain in this state about three years 
longer, they should have the second thinning. By taking out every alternate tree in the 
row, this would leave them six feet apart each way ; the thinnings are now five to six 
inches through, and are worth ten cents apiece fpr boat masts and yards, supports in 
mines, etc. — 1,225 spars, at ten cents, brings $122.50. After growing &ve years at this 
distance, they should be finally thinned out to twelve feet apart ; the trees will now be 
seven to ten inches through and over thirty feet high, can be sawed into rafters, fencing, 
flooring, etc. ; and are worth at least twenty-five cents apiece — 612 spars, at twenty-five 
cents, brings $153. Now, if we suppose that the sale of poles and spars would be 
sufficient to defray the expense of making and upholding the plantation, and that each 
tree still remaining on an acre, say fifteen years after planting, is worth only twenty-five 
cents, the value of 612 trees is $153, there would be a handsome profit after allowing $2 
a year for rent, which, for fifteen years, would Be $30, and a great deal of land suitable 
for growing larch would not rent for more than half that amount. Now, the expenses 
cease, because the forest can be pastured with sheep without danger of injury to the 
trees ; the increase of value is now much more rapid, the annual increase of the circum- 
ference of the trees will average one and one-half inches until they nearly reach maturity, 
which is in about fifty years after planting. The trees will then average thirty to forty 
inches in diameter, three feet from the butt. Each tree will produce about 450 feet of 
lumber, at $25 per thousand, $11.25, less expenses for drawing and sawing $2.25. It 
would surely not be considered extravagant to value each tree at $9 — 612 trees at $9, 
$5,508, less thirty-five years' rent, at $2 per acre ; $70 from $5,608 leaves a net profit 
of $5,438. Be it observed that plantations of larch do not impoverish the land but 
rather improve it The annual deposit of leaves gives more nutriment to the soil than 
is taken from it by the trees." 

Mr. Hicks, of Roslyn, L. I., says of the yellow locust : — 

" Hough's Report on Forestry mentions its lasting fifteen to twenty years as railroad 
ties, while oak lasts only five to ten years, and chestnut six to eight years. The timber 
is used very extensively by carriage builders, and in some instances in preference to 
hickoiy. Brewster & Co., of Broom St , New York City, using it and paying higher 
prices for it than for hickory. 

• "On Long Island, near New York City, this tree is the most valuable grown. After 
thirty years' growth the tree will make posts eight, ten, and twelve feet long, three to 
five inches in diameter, at the small end. In New York City the posts are worth, for 
eight feet in length, four inches in diameter, forty-eight cents ; ten feet, four and a-half 
inches in diameter, seventy-seven cents ; twelve feet, four and three-quarters inches in di- 
ameter, ninety-five cents ; six and a-half feet fencing posts, four inches diameter, twenty- 
-eight cents. The trees will often cut one piece or stick twelve feet, one ten feet, one eighc 
feet, one six and a-half feet, making $2.48 per tree ; these are the wholesale prices. In 
the most famed localities, and with five or ten years' more growth, the tree will make, 
say one stick sixteen feet, thirty-six inches girth ; one twelve feet, thirty inches girth, 
and one ten feet, twenty-five inches girth, this making the tree worth many times as 
much, as it sells for from sixty cente to $1.25 per cubic foot. As to value in other 
localities. Dr. Warder states that he is cutting trees, having a growth of twenty-four 
years, averaging twelve inches diameter, and sixty feet high, trees making eight to ten 
good fence posts, seven feet in length, six to eight inches face at the top end, trees stand- 
ing 400 to the acre. 

"Ezra Sherman, of Preston, Ohio, states that locust seed was sown in 1830 ; three 
years afterwards, the trees were planted in a grove of fifteen acres, also an avenue of 207 
rods. In 1870, two-thirds of these last were cut, 180 trees making 1,500 posts, worth 
thirty-five cents each, or $525 ; and Mr. Sherman says, that the fifteen acres will furnish 

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fence for the farm of 1,500 acres for all time, and that the pasture, together with stakes 
and poles for fencing, furnished from time to time, will pay as good interest as the open 
land would." 

Mr. A. Furniss, of Indiana, speaks of the catalpa and locust : — 

" Much of the cost of timber grown by cultivation depends on the price of land on 
which it is produced. Assuming the average price of land away from the neighbourhood 
of cities and villages to be fifty dollars per acre, which would be a high estimate for us 
in Indiana, and the cost of catalpa plants set four feet apart each way, making 2,722 per 
acre, at a cost of five dollars per thousand — (I grow my plants and they did not actually 
cost half that figure) — we have thirteen dollars and sixty-one cents for plants. But the 
ground must be prepared for the plants, and the transplanting is rather tedious work, 
hence we will allow $11.39 for preparation of land and transplanting, making investment 
in plants and labour, twenty-five dollars per acre. Total investment, seventy-five dollars 
per acre. In Indiana lawful interest is six per cent. Now, let us compound this amount 
for ten years, and we have principal and interest in round numbers, $134.30. To this 
we will add five dollars annually for four years for cultivation. With us the renter 
never pays taxes, but we will add that which would be about five dollars. To this add 
five dollars annually for keeping up fences, and contingencies, and we are debtor : 

To cost of land and plants compounded for ten years $134 30 

" cultivation four years 20 00 

" fence, and contingencies, tax, etc 50 00 

Total $204 30 

" At the expiration of ten years we propose to remove one-fourth of the trees, which, 
if all are standing, will be 680, for which we may claim credit. Many of these by this 
time will make from one to two good fence posts, and at the lowest wholesale price in car 
loads would be worth twenty cents eacL At an average of twenty cents per tree, we 
have $136, to say nothing of the tops for fence stakes and fuel, all of which will be con- 
sumed on the farm. This reduces our debt to $68.30. This we will compound for two 
years more and we are debtor to $76.73. At this time, twelve years from setting, we 
propose to remove one-half of the whole original number, which gives us 1,360 trees. 
These at the very lowest estimate are worth twenty-five cents per tree, or $340 for the 
lot; from this amount deduct our indebtedness, and we have a credit of $263.27. We 
will now compound this for four years more, and our credit is $332.35. Now we propose 
to close the account and sell the one-fourth yet remaining — 680 trees. These are worth 
a dollar a tree ; from this, however, I must deduct the interest on the land for the last 
four years, which is $13.12. That leaves a net profit of $1,049.23. But, suppose, I am 
told that my last lot of trees are not worth a dollar apiece. To this I reply that I know 
of quite a number of ccUalpa apeciosa about that age, and for all such trees well grown 
and within twenty miles of my farm I will give a dollar each and go after them. The 
catalpa in University Square, Indianapolis, have been set about sixteen years, and aver- 
age one foot from the ground about one inch in diameter for every year of growth, and 
notwithstanding they have not been crowded so as to give them the most desirable shape, 
yet, if the city authorities wish to dispose of them, I will take them at the above figure 
and be glad of the chalice. Of course twenty- five dollars would not move one of them, 
but as this is not their commercial value, it cannot be used as a basis of calculation. 

"Forty years of experience as a tree-planter has taught me that trees do not always 
grow where they are set precisely as desired or indicated ; but, £is the catalpa transplants 
with a remarkable degree of certainty — even growing without roots — I believe on good 
ground it is within the scope of practical demonstration to realize three-fourths of the 
result above indicated ; but should one half be attained, we have $524.61 as the return 
from one acre of land for sixteen years, and all this with very little labour or expense 
after the setting and three or four years* cultivation at the beginning, after which they 
require no further care." 

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Mr. Badd, of Iowa, who has grown trees largely, says : — 

" A grove of ten acres of white ash, thinned to six feet apart, containing twelve 
thousand trees, at twelve years were eight inches in diameter and thirty-five feet high, the 
previous thinning paying ail expenses of planting and cultivation. Ten feet of the hodies 
of these trees were worth, for making bent stuff, etc., forty cents each, and the remaining 
top ten cents, making a total of six thousand dollars as the profits on ten acres in twelve 
years, or a yearly profit of fifty dollars per acre. Mr. Everett is said to have sold tweaty- 
three acres of black walnut, of twenty- three years growth, for twenty-seven thousand 
dollars, of fifty dollars per acre for each year's growth. By the way, it is well to remem- 
ber that ash will grow where many trees will not. 

" But the great point noticeable is that the money is secured, or rather secures itself, 
without labour after the first ten years. Any plantation, men of experience say, in which 
the trees are six feet high, and the ground sj shaded that weeds and grasses cannot grow, 
needs no more care till the time comos to thin it for posts. As Mr. Dambiedikes observed, 
the trees grow while we sleep. It may be of interest to remark how diligently Soott 
practised his maxim. For planting, we are told '^ he had always, no doubt, entertained a 
strong partiality. Even in childhood,' he says, * his sympathies were stirred by reading 
the account of Shenstones ' Leasowes,' and in after life there was nothing which seemed 
to afford him so much pride and pleasure as in watching the naked hill-sides gradually 
sprouting with the saplings he had planted. 

" You can have no idea," said Scott to Captain Basil Hall, " of the exquisite delight 
of a planter ; he is like a painter laying on his colonrs ; at every moment he sees his 
effects coming out. There is no art or occupation comparable to this. It is full of past, 
present and future enjoyment I look back to the time when there was not a tree here,. 
only bare heath ; I look arouni and see thousands of trees growing up, all of which, I may 
say almost each of which, have received my personal attention. I remember five years 
ago, looking forward with the most delighted expectation, te this very hour, and, as each 
year has passed, the expectation has gone on increasing. I do the same now ; I anticipate 
what this plantation and that one w^l presently be, if only taken care of, and there is not 
a spot of which I do not watch the progress. Unlike building, or even painting, or in- 
deed any other pursuit, this has no end, and is never interrupted, but goes on from day to 
day, and from year to year, with a perpetually augmenting interest." 


To show what loss is being incurred by the fires which run through our forests, let 
us take up the report of the Commissioner of Crown Lands for 1882. There are nine 
reports of surveys. Let us see what they say in succession : — 

" Timber Berths North of French River, — The greater part of my line passed through 
a burnt country, the fire having gone over some parts a second time. Over this burnt 
country all the timber has been killed." 

" Township oj DanneL — Over one-half of this township has been burnt." 

" Township of Hugd. — ^The greater portion of this township has been overrun by fire 
and the timber destroyed." 

** Township of Ratter, — About one-sixth of the township has been burnt over, all the 
timber being utterly destroyed." 

** Township of KirkpcUrick, — Nearly the whole of the township has been burnt over." 
" Township of Hagar. — Bush fires have destroyed nearly all the timber." 
" Tonmship of Field. — No mention of fire." 

" Township of Dry den, — ^The greater portion of the timber has been destroyed by 

" Township of TTtiAM.— Not injured by tire." 

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In last year's report, out of fifteen surveyor's statements eleven speak of the ravages 
of fire. 


The latest opinions of value procurable on this head are perhaps those given by 

Messrs. Drummond, little, and others who have studied this subject, at the last year's 
Forestry Convention. Maine and Michigan were mentioned. At Bangor, long famed for 
vast lumber mills, only fourteen million feet were procurable in 1877, against over a 
hundred million in 1856. The whole Saginaw valley, Michigan, the very home of the 
lumber trade, is nearly culled. What this means may be imagined when we learn that 
it has been cutting with mills of six hundred million feet capacity. Their lumber 
journals declare that in all Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota — the'western pine States, 
there is not ten years' supply with the present demand. We may, 1 think, consider that 
the demand is likely to increase, perhaps to double. With this, and especially if they 
have a recurrence of their terrible fires, there may not be five years' supply. Concerning 
Ontario, we are told that Mr. Little has consulted the best authorities, and is persuaded 
that in Canada (5,000, Quebec; 3,500 Ontario; N.B. and N.S. 1,500) we have but ten 
thousand million feet of pine, while we are at present cutting a thousand million feet 
yearly, leaving ten years' supply. Consider this in the same light, and look at some 
Canadian fire statistics further on, and we may well doubt whether we have five years' 
supply. In Newfoundland there is little good pine left. It must be noted that a well- 
known lumberman, Mr. J. K. Wood, puts the amount manufactured yearly in Canada at 
nearly two thousand million feet, adding to pine spruce and other woods. If we count 
the pine timber remaining in the States, we shall find that, after Michigan, Minnesota, 
and Wisconsin are exhausted, say in seven years, there will probably be twice as much, 
say fourteen years supply, in the other States, such as the large and slowly decreasing 
forests still standing in Arkansas, Louisiana, and California. 

In view of these facts, let us observe what will, in a very few years, be our position 
in Ontario, or even in Canada. We have but between five and ten years' supply. The 
Americans have their Southern and Pacific States as a reserve, where, though at great 
cost of carriage, they may obtain pine. But Ontario has no such reserve. In a few years 
we shall have but some districts of woodland to our north and north-east, culled of their 
best pine, and alternated with great sections over which the tire has swept, while the rest 
but wait for it to arrive, that the destruction may be complete. At one of the late 
forestry conventions Mr. Thistle, a lumberman and surveyor, gave it as his decided 
opinion that ten times as much lumber was destroyed by fire as by the axe. Let us 
carry this to its conclusion. We have been exporting perhaps twenty million of dollars 
worth yearly. What if we have been losing two hundred millions ? Is it not time — 
would it not have paid fifty-fold — would it not still pay — to give the care to preserve 
our forests that Europeans give theirs 1 It was thought that this was a wooden country, 
and that there was no such danger. I would ask my readers to study the descriptions of 
European forestry in other of these pages. They will not be able to avoid the conclusion 
that, in a few years, Germany, Prussia, and other European countries will be better 

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wooded tkan Canada. We will glance a moment at what is told us of the forest when 
the lumbermen have culled it. Here is one description by Mr. Ward, a Canadian 
lumberman: — **To the uninitiated traveller through the woods, after the shantymen 
have taken all they think worth taking, he would hardly notice that the chopper had been 
there, except for seeing an occasional stump, a few chips, or the top of a tree." Now we 
will take another, Mr. Smith, in the ^' Flora of Michigan '' : — " The valuable trees were 
felled years ago, and the lumberman moved on to fresh spoils, leaving behind an inextri- 
cably confused mass of treetops, broken logs, and uprooted trunks. Blackberry canes 
sprang up everywhere, forming a tangled thicket, and a few scattering poplar, birch, and 
cherry trees serve for arboreal life, above which tower the dead pines, bleached in the 
weather and blackened by fire, destitute of limbs, and looking at a distance not unlike 
the mastg of some great harbour. Thousands of such acres, repellant alike to botanist 
and to settler, can be found in any of our northern counties." What we had better 
conclude, I fancy, concerning the difference between the two, is that the second had 
undergone a second and yet sharper and more reckless culling, after it had passed the 
stage described by Mr. Ward. It is evident that the time has. passed when it was a 
matter of choice to attend to forest preservation in Ontario. If we are to retain any, it 
is now an affair of immediate necessity. 

In fine, if we wait longer, our forests will be gone, and can then not be renewed, 
except at the vast expense of time and money required in planting. 

If we move energetically now, we can preserve great forests, the maintenance of 
which is most necessary to our prosperity, and shall also have time to plant, where no 
other means exist. 


(Fnytn AgriciUtturcU Commission. J 

Prescott and Rassell : — About forty -seven and a-half per cent, of the entire area is 
under timber, consisting of hemlock, cedar, tamarack, beech, birch, elm, basswood, ash, 
balsam, pine, spruce, walnut, butternut, whitewood, dogwood, soft maple, and red and 
black cherry ; used principally for lumber, fencing, firewood, railway ties and saw logs. 

Glengarri/, Stormont and Dundas : — Probably about thirty per cent, of the •entire 
area of these counties is still timbered with hard and soft maple, beech, birch, ash, tama- 
rack, elm, basswood, hemlock, spruce, balsam, and some pine ; used for fuel, lumber, 
railway ties, telegraph posts and shingles. 

Carleton: — About 287,000 acres of land in this county are still uncleared. 

Leeds and Grenville : — In all the townships, except South Burgess and North Crosby, 
which have suffered from the ravages of bush fires, there is a large amount of standing 
timber, consisting mainly of hard and soft woods ; used for firewood, fencing, lumber, 
buckets and pails. 

Lanark: — About twenty- four p3r cent, of the uncleared land is covered with timber 
or bosh. The timber is chiefly pine, beech, maple, basswood, ash, birch, cedar and tama- 
rack. A considerable export trade in hardwood is carried on, and there is a large local 
consumption for railway ties, fencing, fuel, eta A great destruction of pine took place 
from the great fire in 1870. 

Renfrew : — About forty-six per cent, of the entire area is still timbered. Red and 
white pine exist in large quantities. There is also an abundant supply of aah, elm, 
maple, basswood, spruce, cedar, tamarack, balsam, poplar, beech and hemlock^ Qyunbering 




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is extensively carried on for exportation to European and American markets. The hard 
woods are chiefly used for fuel and cedar for fencing. 

FrofUenac: — As nearly as can be computed, about fifty per cent, of the land in 
Frontenac is still timbered with pine, bassw(5od, ash, hemlock, beech, balsam, tamarack, 
cedar and maple ; principally used for lumber, fencing and fuel. 

Lennox and Adding ton : — Owing to the returns being in several instances obviously 
inaccurate, the extent of land in the counties under timber cannot be estimated. Four- 
fifths of Denbigh and associated townships are, however, reported to be under pine, maple, 
beech and cedar, and lumbering is extensively carried on. There is also a considerable 
quantity of timber land in North and South Fredericksburg, in Camden and in Sheffield. 

Prinoe Edward County : — About sixteen per cent, of the entire area is still covered 
with timber, consisting of beech, maple, elm, cedar, oak, black ash and some pine ; used 
for lumber, fuel, coopers' staves, fencing and building. 

HastiTiga : — A large proportion of the acreage is still covered with timber — ^in some 
townships to the extent of seventy-five per cent. 

Alaliburton : — About eighty per cent, of the entire area is still under timber, con' 
siflting principally of maple, beech, birch, hemlock, basswood, elm, ash, pine, tamarack 
and cedar ; used for lumber, fencing, railway ties, telegraph poles, shingles, bolts, saw- 
logs, eta 

Peterborough : — A large proportion — not far short of one half of the area — is' undei* 
timber, consisting of pine, cedar, beech, maple, hemlock, basswood, tamarack, birch and 
ash; used for timber, fencing, firewood, shingles, bolts, railway ties and telegraph poles. 
Bush fires have destroyed large tracts, particularly in the township of Harvey. 

Northumherland and Durham : — About eighteen per cent, of the total acreage is still 
timbered with hardwood, cedar, pine, hemlock, and tamarack. The former is used prin- 
cipally for fuel, the latter for building, fencing, and barrel staves. 

Victoria : — Probably about fifty per cent, of the uncleared land is under timber, con< 
sisting of cedar, pine, hemlock, maple, birch, beech, basswood, black ash, mountain ash, 
balsam, tamarack, oak, and elm ; used for lumber, fuel, building, and fencing. 

(hUa/rio: — About seventeen per cent, of the area of Ontario is still under timber 
(excepting the township of Reach, which returns no percentage). The timber consists of 
pine, maple, beech, basswood, tamarack, balsam, cedar, black ash, hemlock, and elm ; used 
mainly for lumber, fuel, fences, staves, and domestic uses. 

York: — About twenty-two and-a-half percent, of the area of York is still under 
timber, consisting of beech, maple, elm, basswood, pine, hemlock, cedar, tamarack, and < 
birch ; used for building purposes, fencing, and firewood. 

Simcoe : —It is impossible to glean from the returns the total acreage under timber, 
but probably over one-half of the entire county area is under maple, beech, elm, bass- 
wood, tamarack, pine, hemlock, cedar, balsam, birch, ash, and oak. Lumbering opera-- 
tions are very extensively carried on in several of the townships, and there is a large 
amount of business done in hemlock bark (which is largely used within the county, and 
also exported for tanning purposes), and in railway ties, telegraph poles, and shingles. 
The hardwoods are principally used for fuel, and the soft woods for building and fencing. 

Peel: — ^About eleven per cent, of the entire acreage is still under timber, consisting 
of beech, maple, hemlock, cedar, white and red oak, ash, elm, hickory, and basswood. A 
few pines are scattered in Chinguacousy and Toronto townships The timber is generally 
used for fuel, fencing, and domestic purposes. 

ffalton : — About seventeen per cent, of the entire area is still timbered, chiefly with 
hardwood and a limited amount of pine. The timber is principally used for lumber, 
fencing, and fuel. 

WerUworth : — Fourteen and a-half per cent probably under timber, consisting of 
pine, beech, maple, elm, black ash, cedar, tamarack, oak, hickory, walnut, and chestnut ; 
used for lumber, firewood, fencing, building, and general purposes. 

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Lincoln : — Exclusive of tho township of Oaistor, which does not report the area of I 
land still timbered, Lincoln has over 24,400 acres still covered with beech, black ash,! 
maple, elm, oak, hickory, and some pine ; used for firewood, fencing, building, and manu- 1 
facturing purposes, also for ship timber and railroad ties. 

WeUand: — About eighteen per cent, of the area is still under timber, consisting of 
beech, maple, oak, ash, bass wood, elm, hemlock, poplar, birch, chestnut, walnut^ and 
butternut ; used for shipbuilding, housebuilding, fencing, and fuel. 

HaMimand: — About twenty-four per cent, of the acreage is still timbered, consisting 
chiefly of hard woods ; used for fencing, fuel, and building purposes. 

Norfolk : — About twenty-four per cent, of the entire area is still timbered, and the 
standing timber consists chiefly of pine, oak, maple, chestnut^ black and white ash, elm, 
and cedar ; used for railway ties, lumber, fencing, firewood, and general purposes. 

BrcmJt: — About twenty-five per cent, is yet in timber of maple, beech, elm, oak, 
pine, cedar, basswood, tamarack, hickory, and ironwood. 

Waterloo : — About twenty-two and.a-half per cent of the area is still timbered with 
pine, oak, beech, maple, cedar, ash, and hemlock. 

Grey : — About thirty-four per cent, of the land is still timbered chiefly with hard- 
wood. Very little pine exists and only sufficient cedar for fencing purposes. 

Brtiee : — ^About twenty-five per cent of the land is timbered. Maple, basswood, elm, 
hemlock, cedar, ash, beech and birch predominate ; there is also some pina 

Huron: — About twenty-nine per cent, is covered with timber ; hard and so t woods. 

Perth : — About twenty-one per cent, is covered with timber, consisting of beech, 
elm, maple, basswood, black and white ash, pine, helnlock, cedar, birch and tamarack. 

Oxford: — Seventeen per cent, under pine, cedar, beech, maple, elm, ash, basswood 
and oak. 

Elgin : — ^Thirty per cent, is timbered with most of the indigenous woods excepting 

Middlesex : — ^Thirty-five per cent under hardwood and some pine. 

Lambton: — Forty-eight per cent, covered with oak, ash, elm, beech, inaple, basswood, 
hickory and some pine. 

Kent: — ^Thirty-seven per cent, in oak, black and red ash, hickory, hard and soft 
maple, cherry, and sycamore, some black walnut, and some tulip. 

Essex: — Two- thirds still under bush, consisting chiefly of whitewood, oak, ash, elm, 
*hickory, bass, sycamore, and other woods. 

WeUingion : — About fifteen per cent is still timbered with beech, maple, elm, cedar, 
hemlock, basswood, ash and balsam. 

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